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Treatment of Sonorrhea and its Com- 
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Sexual Problems of To-day 2.00 

Sex Knowledge for Men 2.00 

Sex Knowledge for Women 1.00 

Woman: Her Sex and Love Life 3.00 

Never Told Tales 1.00 

Stories of Love and Life 1.00 

Limitation of Offspring by the Pre- 
vention of Conception 1.00 

Sex Morality — Past, Present and Fu- 
ture 1.00 

Practical Eugenics: Four Means of 
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Editor of The American Journal of Urology and Sexology and of The Critic 

and Guide, Member American Medical Editors' Association, American 

Medical Association, Fellow New York Academy of Medicine, 

New York State Medical Society, etc., etc. 

Author of Never Told Tales; Sexual Problems of Today; Limi- 
tation of Of spring by the Prevention of Conception; 
Woman, Her Sex and Love Life; Sex Knowledge 
for Men; The Treatment of Sexual Impo- 
tence and Other Sexual Disorders in 
Men and Women; etc., etc. 

No book has a right to exist that has not for 
its purpose the betterment of mankind, by 
affording either useful instruction or health- 
ful recreation.. —W. J. R. 



12 Mt. Morris Park West 

Copyright, 1917 

k*^ AVAiJ -if? 


This book is not a theoretical treatise on 
eugenics and heredity. It does not deal 
with chromosomes, unit characters, de- 
terminers — simplex, duplex or nulliplex — 
heterozygotes, homozygotes, etc. Nor 
does it have a word to say about Mendel's 
sweet peas. Interesting and important as 
these things are, they have but little rela- 
tion to human heredity and to the ques- 
tions: How can we improve the human 
stock, and who should and should not 
marry? These practical questions this 
book tries to answer. Hence the subtitle : 
Practical Eugenics. 

W. J. R. 

12 Mount Morris Park West, New York, 
November 10, 1916. 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2007 with funding from 

Microsoft Corporation 




I Introduction 7 

II The Two Classes of Remedies 10 
III The Rational Limitation of 

Offspring, or Birth Control 18 
^yiV No Marriage License Without 
a Certificate of Freedom 
from Transmissible Disease 34 
V The Sterilization of the Fee- 
bleminded, Degenerate and 

Criminal 63 

VI Venereal Prophylaxis ... 83 



The Meaning of Eugenics 



The Hereditarian and En- 

vironmentalist .... 



The Pseudo-Eugenists . 



Is Blood Stronger than En- 




Who are the Unfit? 



Influence of Belief in Hered- 

ity on Disease .... 114 





Heredity and Conduct 



Eugenics and the Limitation 

of Offspring 



Eugenics and Medicine 



A Word in Conclusion 



Factors Affecting Marriage . 



Marriage and Gonorrhea . 



Marriage and Syphilis 



Tuberculosis — Heart Disease 

— Cancer 



Exophthalmic Goiter, Obesity, 

Arteriosclerosis, Gout . . . 



Mumps — Anemia .... 


XXIII Alcoholism — Epilepsy — Hys- 

XXIV Feeblemindedness and Insan- 

XXV Neuroses — Neurasthenia — Psy- 

chasthenia — Neuropathy — 

Psychopathy, Drug Addiction 

XXVI Consanguineous Marriages . . 

XXVII Sexual Impotence, Frigidity . 

XXVIII Excessive Libido .... 

XXIX Criminality 204 

XXX Pauperism 207 








Chapter I 

MY religion is the Religion of 
Humanity. The ultimate aim 
of all activity should be the 
happiness of the human race. This is the 
only criterion "which should be applied to 
every man's life work. I recognize no 
other standard. Whatever contributes to 
the happiness and welfare of the human 
race, and of its individual members, is 
right and moral; whatever contributes to 
its unhappiness and suffering is wrong 
and immoral. This is my only religion, 
my only morality. I recognize no other 
and I cannot see how any rational thinker 
can recognize any other standard or guide. 
I have nothing in common with the 
theologian who tells us that we have to 


work for the glory of God and who tries 
to reconcile us to our present-day suffer- 
ings with promises of a future heaven, 
who tries to quench our hunger in this 
world with the hope of an everlasting ban- 
quet in the next. And I have just as little 
in common with the narrow, selfish in- 
dividualist, who thinks that his little ego 
is the whole world, that he is the supreme 
law, that his little pleasures must not be 
interfered with even if the entire human 
race went to perdition, who has no regard 
for the rights or sufferings of others, and 
who justifies his pernicious activity or lack 
of activity by high-sounding phrases, by 
the plea of being a superman. The super- 
man is very often a superdevil, or a dis- 
gustingly selfish prig, or a good-for-noth- 
ing lazy vagabond, who believes that the 
world owes him a living, and a luxurious 
living at that, no matter whether he does 
anything for the world or not. 

Whether or not the egotists and other 
supermen are right in asserting that "duty 


to humanity" is a superstition, similar to 
the superstition of duty to God, similar 
to the belief in witchcraft, etc., I do not 
know. But whether silly superstition or 
the highest attainable truth, I prefer to 
cling to it tenaciously and use it as my 
working guide — until I get a better, safer 
and more useful formula. 

With this little introduction, the reason 
for which will perhaps become apparent 
to you in the course of this essay, I will 

Chapter II 


THAT there is something radically 
wrong in our social system, that 
this world can stand some im- 
provement, that we are not all perfect 
specimens of physical, mental and moral 
development, that very few of us come up 
even to our own ideal, in fact that the con- 
glomeration of individuals which we call 
humanity contains some pretty rotten ma- 
terial, we all agree. There is no dissen- 
sion whatever on this point. Every nor- 
mal human being who is given more or less 
to thinking, everybody not belonging to 
the class of the feeble-minded, readily ac- 
knowledges that humanity or society is 
afflicted with serious evils and that these 


evils need remedying. The dissensions, 
the disagreements, the quarrels, the rows, 
the recriminations commence as soon as 
the question of the remedy is raised. 
Here we hardly find two people thinking 
exactly alike. It would not be too far- 
fetched to say: as many remedies as think- 
ing human beings. 

To discuss or even to mention the vari- 
ous remedies that have been suggested 
for the improvement of the race and for 
the amelioration of its condition does not 
come within the scope of this book. But 
most of the real remedies suggested may 
be divided into two classes: the economic 
and the eugenic. 

The representatives of the economic 
viewpoint believe that all the evils that 
afflict humanity, physical evils, mental 
evils and moral evils, are due to our eco- 
nomic conditions ; that all that it is neces- 
sary to do is to remove these conditions, 
to change our system, and all the evils 
will disappear. With the representatives 


of this viewpoint, environment is every- 
thing, the individual, the material of which 
humanity consists, nothing. Some of 
them go even to the extreme of believing 
that material wealth or economic inde- 
pendence is paramount to everything else. 
They believe that all unhappiness arises 
from poverty; and that wealth is synony- 
mous with happiness. This view, held by 
the average man as well as by many of 
our good, orthodox unsophisticated So- 
cialists, is childish in the extreme and 
hardly needs any argument for refuta- 
tion. Thousands and thousands of peo- 
ple who are independently wealthy, who 
are secure in a competence for life, whose 
vision is never troubled by the spectre of 
poverty, are extremely unhappy. And 
it is a well known fact that poverty, for 
instance, is not the principal cause of 
suicide, and the largest contingent of sui- 
cides is contributed not by the very poor, 
but by the fairly well-to-do and the rich. 
No, wealth alone is not sufficient for hap- 


piness, nor for the highest development 
of human character, of the human mind. 
But this is only in passing. 

The eugenic viewpoint represents the 
other extreme. While not exactly alto- 
gether denying the influence of environ- 
ment, the extreme eugenist believes that 
all our evils reside in the very nature of 
the human race, of the individual human 
animal; that we cannot hope for any im- 
provement unless we weed out the defect- 
ive, the degenerate, the vicious, the crimi- 
nal. They believe, and they can prove it 
by thousands of examples too, that we can 
be superior to our environment; that the 
person who "has it in him" can overcome 
his environment, create his own environ- 
ment; in short, that instead of being the 
slaves of circumstances we can, if we have 
the stuff in us, become the masters of our 
circumstances. They further believe that 
mere change of conditions, change of po- 
litical forms, of economic institutions, etc., 
will not do much good if the character of 


the people is not changed. They say, in 
short, that the right people will be happy 
and live a full and fruitful life even in 
bad conditions, while bad people will be 
bad and miserable in the best of condi- 

As is usually the case, neither the ex- 
treme economic view nor the extreme eu- 
genic view is correct; or, if you prefer it, 
both views are correct up to a certain 
point. The truth is generally in the mid- 
dle, and with your permission I will say 
that I represent the middle view. I be- 
lieve that humanity will not reach its high- 
est development, that misery will not dis- 
appear from the world until we have 
changed both the environment in which 
humanity lives and improved the stock 
from which human beings are bred. In 
other words, the changes must go hand in 
hand and must be both economic and eu- 
genic in character. 

With the economic remedies I do not 
intend to deal in this address. I do not 


in any way underestimate the importance 
of the economic remedies ; on the contrary 
they are as important as or perhaps more 
important than the eugenic remedies pro- 
posed. I am simply leaving them out 
of consideration in this essay, as the sub- 
ject is too large to be covered in one lec- 
ture. I am dealing with the eugenic rem- 
edies exclusively. 


Chapter III 


THE greatest and most important 
measure, exceeding in impor- 
tance perhaps all other measures 
combined, for the betterment of the hu- 
man race is the universal, which, however, 
does not mean indiscriminate, dissemina- 
tion of the knowledge of the proper meas- 
ures for the prevention of conception. 
There is no other single measure that 
would so positively, so immediately con- 
tribute towards the happiness and prog- 
ress of the human race. It is as important 
from an economic as from a eugenic stand- 
point, and this knowledge universally dis- 
seminated would to a great extent, tho of 
course not entirely, render many other 


measures superfluous. This knowledge 
would not only save millions of mothers 
from the horrible, damnable condition of 
enforced motherhood, it would not only 
save millions of families from the misery 
and wretchedness of having to bring up 
more children than they can financially 
afford to, but it would also obviate, in 
countless cases, the bringing into the 
world of sickly, deformed or imbecile off- 
spring. I have spoken and written so 
much on this subject, to me its great im- 
portance and necessity seem so clear and 
self-evident, that I confess that with all 
my desire to be patient with my opponents 
I have difficulty in being so; with all my 
determination to respect the opposing 
opinions on this subject, it is impossible 
for me to do so, for their arguments are 
no arguments; they disappear like foam 
at the merest analytical touch. 

For a complete discussion of the sub- 
ject I must refer you to my book: "Few- 
er and Better Babies, or The Limitation 


of Offspring by the Prevention of Con- 
ception," but here is a summary of my 
reasons why I so persistently advocate 
teaching the people the use of means of 
prevention, and why I consider this 
knowledge of such vital importance. 
My reasons are: 

1. Because I know of thousands of 
families who would be perfectly happy 
if they only knew the proper method of 
regulating the number of their offspring. 

2. Because I know of thousands of 
young men who would be glad and happy 
to get married, but are restrained from 
doing so by the fear of too many chil- 

3. Because I know of thousands of 
young men, who, restrained from marry- 
ing by fear of too many children, have in 
consequence contracted venereal disease 
or have become addicted to dangerous 
sexual irregularities. 

4. Because I know of thousands of 
women who have become chronically in- 



valided by too frequent childbearing and 

5. Because I know of thousands of 
women who have become incurable in- 
valids by improper attempts at preven- 

6. Because I know of thousands of 
men who are pitiable sexual neurasthenics 
from coitus interruptus, which they prac- 
tice thru ignorance of better methods of 

7. Because I know of thousands of 
women who have actually killed them- 
selves, have been driven into early graves 
by abortions or attempts at abortions. 

8. Because I know of thousands of 
children whose education has been neg- 
lected, who have been improperly brought 
up on account of the mother's inability to 
attend to too many. 

9. Because I know of thousands of 
children who, born by their mothers un- 
willingly, in anguish and in anger, were 
born mentally and physically below par, 


only to be a burden to themselves and to 

10. Because I know of thousands of 
children, born of epileptic, syphilitic or 
tuberculous parents, who should not have 
been born at all, because they came into 
life handicapped, had to fight against se- 
vere odds, lived a poor life and died an 
early death. 

11. Because I know of many other 
things which on account of our prudery 
cannot be spoken of, but which cause 
boundless misery to men, women and 
children; and this unnecessary misery 
will disappear only when the people have 
learned the proper method of regulating 
the number of their offspring. 

12. Because human beings are not an- 
imals, and they should have a right to say 
how many children they will have, how 
frequently they will have them and when 
they will have them. 

The general stock objections to any ad- 
vocacy of the knowledge of the means of 


preventing conception, such as that it 
would have a tendency to demoralize the 
young women, who are kept in the path 
of virtue only by their fear of pregnancy, 
or that it would have a tendency to de- 
crease the population or entirely to kill 
off the race, and so forth, I have an- 
swered fully in the above referred to book, 
but several curious objections may be 
touched upon here. 

One sincere Socialist tearfully laments : 
Just think of it, what the world would be 
if the mother of Darwin or of Herbert 
Spencer or of Karl Marx or of Bebel had 
used preventives and had thus deprived 
the world of the services of these great 
men! Exactly the same argument is 
given by another man, but being a con- 
servative, instead of the names of Darwin, 
Spencer, Marx and Bebel, he mentions 
Napoleon, Roosevelt, Edison and Pope 
Leo XIII. To this infantile argument 
we could simply reply by asking another 
question: How much better off would 



the world have been if the mothers of 
Torquemada and Philip II and Ivan the 
Terrible, Alexander III, Nicholas II, 
Max Jukes, Richeson, Beattie, and so 
forth, had used preventives and thus had 
saved the world oceans of misery, rivers 
of blood and tears, untold agony and suf- 
fering. And then why not cry for the 
millions and millions of sexual relations 
that could have taken place but did not, 
and might have resulted in the birth of 
some great geniuses and philanthropists. 
Reasoning this way it ought to be the duty 
of every male to produce and every fe- 
male to bear a child at least every year of 
their reproductive periods in the hope that 
of all these millions some might be great 
men. That all these millions would at the 
same time enormously increase the num- 
ber of paupers, criminals, insane and de- 
generates, and would reduce the economic 
standards to such a level that the people 
would have to live like animals — why all 
this does not count. Yes, according to 



these thinkers the non-indulgence in con- 
tinuous intercourse, the refusal to breed 
uninterruptedly, should be made a crime, 
because it interferes with the potentiality 
of the birth of great men. 

Another argument which I heard very 
recently was to this effect: Children are 
the greatest and only joy of the poor, 
why should we force the poor to use reme- 
dies for the prevention of conception? * 
So silly is this argument that one can 
hardly believe it is made by a rational be- 
ing, but I assure you that it is genuine. 
Who ever spoke of forcing people to use 
means for the prevention of conception? 
If a couple wants to have children, if they 
want to have six or eight or ten or twenty, 
why let them. It is their affair, if they 
can provide for them and bring them up 
properly. The only time the state would 

lf rhis argument is on a par with the one that we 
hear sometimes raised against free love : Suppose a man 
and a woman do want to live all their lives in a strictly 
monogamic marriage, should they be forced to change 
their partners? 



have a right to interfere would be if pau- 
pers bred children which became a public 
charge; but if people are well-to-do or 
even fairly well off and have a strong pa- 
rental instinct and want to have many 
children, of course nobody would have a 
word to say. All we do demand is that 
people who cannot or do not want to have 
any children, either for economic reasons 
or because one or both of the parents suf- 
fers with some transmissible disease which 
would be the cause of deformed or feeble- 
minded or weakly children, should know 
what those means are and how to use 
them. What I and those who believe with 
me demand is that there should be no 
forced pregnancies, so to say, no forced 
and undesired childbirths. 

Another argument that has been made, 
and made many times, by my opponents 
— and opponents, I regret to say, who be- 
long to the medical profession — is that 
"murder is murder," that it is just as crim- 
inal to kill a fetus three months or one 



month or one week old as it is to kill the 
living child or the adult. But who spoke 
of killing anything or anybody? This 
shows the stupid, careless looseness of 
thought of the average person, lay or pro- 
fessional. Time and time again when I 
spoke on the prevention of conception a 
fellow would get up and with heat and 
passion declare that abortion was a crime. 
Just as if the prevention of conception 
had anything to do with abortion! It is 
not a mere difference of degree, it is a 
difference of kind — the prevention of the 
spermatozoid from coming in contact with 
and fertilizing the ovum, or of destroying 
the ovum after it has become fertilized 
and after it has in it all the potentialities 
of a living human being. And I do beg, 
beg earnestly and sincerely, that all those 
who have any arguments to offer against 
the prevention of conception propaganda 
should bear clearly in mind the difference 
between prevention and abortion, and 
when discussing the former should not 



get off the track and break out into a 
philippic against the latter. 

Another argument is that the use of 
means of prevention renders a woman 
sterile, so that when she afterwards wants 
to have children she cannot do so. This 
is absolutely and unqualifiedly untrue. 
Here is again confusion between preven- 
tion and abortion. It is true that repeat- 
edly performed abortions may render a 
woman sterile on account of the inflam- 
mations and infections that abortions, 
particularly if performed by careless or 
incompetent hands, often set up. But 
properly used means of contraception 
have no such effect. Thousands and 
thousands of women use these means as 
long as they do not want to have any chil- 
dren ; when they want a child, they discon- 
tinue their use and very soon afterwards 
become impregnated. 

I will take this opportunity to answer 
a criticism which is directed at us every 
day. Many of our good men and women 


when reading my writings or listening to 
my addresses on the prevention of con- 
ception become impatient, and they are 
apt to say: "Oh, what's the use of all 
this writing and talking? We fully agree 
that the prevention of conception is mor- 
ally justifiable, and economically and in 
every other way correct; what we want is 
the exact remedy." And when the exact 
remedy is not forthcoming publicly, they 
become impatient and sometimes are apt 
to become quite angry. 

Well, my dear friends, you may know 
that the prevention of conception is right 
and that the knowledge of the means of 
prevention should be freely disseminable, 
but seventy-five or eighty millions of 
American citizens do not know it, do not 
think it is right. If they did we would 
not have those drastic laws, making the 
giving of the information about preven- 
tion of conception a crime, as heinous as 
burglary or homicide, on our statute 



That the people may know exactly what 
the penalty is for the imparting of this 
information, and that they may see how 
diabolically the law is worded, so as abso- 
lutely to cut off any escape or loophole, I 
will reproduce here our Federal law ver- 
batim — and the laws on the statute books 
of the various states are just as bad: 



(Act of March 4, 1909, Chapter 321, 
Section 211, United States Statutes at 
Large, vol. 35, part 1, page 1088 et seq.) 
provides as follows: 

"Every obscene, lewd or lascivious and every 
filthy book, pamphlet, picture, paper, letter, writ- 
ing, print, or other publication of an indecent char- 
acter, and every article or thing designated, 
adapted or intended for preventing conception or 
procuring abortion, or for any indecent or im- 
moral use ; and every article, instrument, substance, 
drugs, medicine, or thing which is advertised or 
described in a manner calculated to lead another 
to use or apply it for preventing conception or 


producing abortion, or for any indecent or immoral 
purpose; and every written or printed card, letter, 
circular, book, pamphlet, advertisement or notice 
of any kind giving information, directly or indi- 
rectly, where or how, or from whom or by what 
means any of the hereinbefore mentioned matters, 
articles or things may be obtained or made, or 
where or by whom any act or operation of any 
kind for the procuring or producing of abortion 
will be done or performed, or how or by what 
means conception may be prevented or abortion 
produced, whether sealed or unsealed; and every 
letter, packet or package or other mail matter con- 
taining any filthy, vile or indecent thing, device 
or substance; and every paper, writing, advertise- 
ment or representation that any article, instrument, 
substance, drug, medicine or thing may, or can 
be used or applied for preventing conception or 
producing abortion, or for any indecent or im- 
moral purpose; and every description calculated 
to induce or incite a person to so use or apply any 
such article, instrument, substance, drug, medicine 
or thing, is hereby declared to be non-mailable 
matter, and shall not be conveyed in the mails or 
delivered from any postoffice or by any letter car- 
rier. Whoever shall knowingly deposit, or cause 
to be deposited for mailing or delivery, anything 
declared by this section to be non-mailable, or shall 
knowingly take, or cause the same to be taken, 
from the mails for the purpose of circulating or 


disposing thereof, or of aiding in the circulation 
or disposition of the same, shall be fined not more 
than $5,000, or imprisoned not more than five 
years, or both." 

As seen, the Federal law deals only 
with the penalties for imparting the in- 
formation by mail. The Federal law 
could not if it would interfere with any 
information sent by express within the 
territory of a state, or given by people 
from mouth to mouth, but the laws of the 
various states deal with that phase of the 
subject, and make it an exceedingly dan- 
gerous thing to attempt to impart any 
information whatever about prevention 
of conception by any avenue whatever. 

Yes, seventy-five millions of people 
think our laws against birth control are 
perfectly right. Otherwise, I say, if the 
majority thought they were wrong, peo- 
ple would not be sent to prison for their 
infraction. And the object of my speak- 
ing and writing is to change the opinions 
of some of those seventy-five millions and 


to give courage to others to speak and 
propagandize as I do. You must not 
forget that before any change in any law 
can be expected we must create public 
opinion in favor of such a change. We 
see exactly the same thing with the de- 
mand for "no marriage license without 
a certificate of freedom from transmissible 
disease" and for "the sterilization of de- 
generates and vicious criminals." When 
people began to advocate these measures 
ten years ago, they were considered crazy, 
or at least freaky. Now several states 
have actually passed these laws, the ques- 
tion is being discussed and taken up by 
our highly respectable citizens, and it is 
but a question of time when these two 
measures will become universal. 

The idea of the prevention of concep- 
tion is a more difficult one to get people 
to agree with, because it touches several 
vital points: it touches the labor market, 
it touches the supply of men for the army 
and navy, it touches so-called national 



greatness, it conflicts apparently with 
some religious precepts against preven- 
tion, and last but not least, it inspires in 
the hearts of our good people a holy ter- 
ror that with the spread of this knowl- 
edge sexual morality will go to the dogs, 
that with the possession of this knowledge 
men and women will rush into indiscrim- 
inate indulgence. I say that it will prob- 
ably take longer to repeal the laws against 
prevention of conception, but if we are 
earnest enough in our work, if we are un- 
remitting in our propaganda, we will at- 
tain this object tocH— for it is right, and no 
measure that is for the real welfare and 
benefit of humanity can be sidetracked 
forever. Its progress may be impeded 
temporarily, but never permanently. And 
because we cannot perhaps help you to- 
day, is no reason why we should not work 
for the benefit and happiness of the peo- 
ple ten or twenty years hence. 

And besides, the agitation itself pos- 
sesses a very decided value even now, for 



it makes people inquisitive, it makes them 
seek for information which eventually they 
do get in spite of any laws. People may 
not wish to give the information by mail, 
or publicly, or to strangers who in spite 
of pitiful tales are very often decoys of 
our vice hunters, but as a rule they do not 
object to imparting to friends by word 
of mouth. 

This concludes the first means for the 
improvement of the human race — a 
knowledge of the means of prevention 
of conception, of regulating the number 
of one's offspring. 


Chapter IV 


AMONG the most wonderful phe- 
nomena of the present age is the 
spirit of unrest among the female 
members of the human race. Whether 
or not woman suffrage will prove the 
panacea that its adherents believe it will, 
or whether its universal granting will put 
progress back half a century as its op- 
ponents believe it will — one thing is sure: 
Woman refuses to remain the doll, the 
child, the slave that man wanted to make 
of her; woman is awake — if not fully 
awake, she is opening her eyes anyway. 
And she demands the right to dispose of 
her body as her own and not as her hus- 



band's property. She wants to know 
what is to become of her body when she 
enters the bonds of holy matrimony, for 
she has heard that not all is well in that 
sacred kingdom, in that ardently desired 
for paradise. She has heard some of her 
women friends cursing instead of bless- 
ing the day when they changed their 
maiden name for that of their husband. 
And they are beginning to ask for par- 
ticulars, for details. And well it is that 
they are doing so. 

For too many years, for too many cen- 
turies, woman has been outraged, infected, 
sickened, invalided, incapacitated for life, 
and often driven to an early grave, by the 
man who promised to love, cherish and 
protect her. Very often he did it in 
sheer ignorance — he didn't think he could 
infect anybody, he thought he was per- 
fectly cured, or he forgot all about ever 
having had a disease. "It was so long 
ago." Sometimes he did it with perfect 
knowledge of the possible consequences, 



and in spite of the distinct warning of 
the physician. He married in the dan- 
gerous, infectious stage, because he 
wanted the woman's money, or it was in- 
convenient to delay the wedding, and so 

But whether infected thru the hus- 
band's ignorance, thru his carelessness or 
thru maliciousness, the disastrous result 
was always the same, and woman is get- 
ting foolish enough to refuse to continue 
to be a victim of man's ignorance and bru- 
tality. She begins to object to being in- 
fected a day or a week or a month after 
the wedding. She is beginning to ask — 
or we are beginning to ask for her, for 
the liberation of the slave never came thru 
the slaves themselves, but thru the fighters 
for liberty, thru the humanitarians — some 
guarantee that the marriage bed will not 
soon be converted into an invalid bed, 
that the wedding march will not be a pre- 
lude to an early funeral march. 

Before discussing the matter any fur- 



thcr let me give you the histories of a few 
cases : 

Case 1. A pretty brunette, twenty- 
two years old. Married three years and 
two months. Exactly one month after 
the wedding — she remembers the happy 
day — she began to feel pain and burning 
in the vagina, pain on urinating, etc. She 
has been under treatment by various doc- 
tors ever since. She will never get well 
without an operation, because both Fal- 
lopian tubes are swollen, distended and 
full of pus. And if she has the tubes re- 
moved she will, of course, never have any 
children. It may also be necessary to 
remove her ovaries. 

Case 2. Age nineteen. Married two 
months. She must have become infected 
on the very wedding night, for ten days 
after the wedding ceremony all the symp- 
toms of an acute gonorrhea were in full 
blast. Fortunately the husband was well- 
to-do ; she could afford almost daily treat- 
ment at the office, the home part of the 


treatment was carried out by a competent 
trained nurse, and in three months she was 
well. But it cost her a lot of pain and 
suffering and a pile of money. The poor 
can afford the former, but not the latter. 
How soon she will be able to have a child 
is also a question. 

Case 3. Age twenty-eight. Married 
five years. Began to ail two weeks after 
marriage and has been an invalid ever 
since. All that time she has had no treat- 
ment, for the husband happens to be a 
cruel, contemptible brute. He told her 
she did not need any treatment. "It is 
natural for a woman to be sick after mar- 
riage," and it was no use wasting money 
on doctors. But finally she became so 
haggard-looking, got so thin and feeble 
that her people insisted on her seeing a 
doctor. She came with her husband. Of 
course it did not take long to find out 
what the trouble was. I asked for a pri- 
vate talk with the man, who at first stren- 
uously denied ever having had any vene- 



real disease; but when I told him that it 
was no use lying, that I could find out in 
a minute by examining him whether he 
had or not, he confessed that he had had 
gonorrhea, but he was sure that he had 
been cured when he married. I examined 
his urine and found it full of shreds and 
gonococci. When I told him that it was 
a crime to ruin a human being like that, 
without even trying to cure her, his ex- 
cuse was that he was afraid to send her to 
doctors ; he was afraid they would tell her 
what the disease was, and as his and her 
parents were strict Catholics, he feared 
there might be trouble. And so for the 
fear of a little unpleasantness, he risked 
and ruined the life of the woman whom 
he had promised to cherish and protect. 
For she will never be a healthy, normal 
human being. Her entire generative or- 
gans — uterus, the ovaries and the Fallo- 
pian tubes — must come out, if an attempt 
is to be made to save her life. And she 
may not be able to stand an operation — 


so weak, so anemic, so miserable she is. 

It is interesting to spend a minute or 
two in a consideration of the feelings of 
the infected wives toward their husbands. 
I used to be surprised to notice the good- 
natured, forgiving attitude toward their 
husbands of wives who had undergone 
years of suffering on account of them. 
But I no longer am surprised — for I see 
it so often. Not a grudge, not a resent- 
ment. But only in cases where the hus- 
band was kind and comradely to the wife, 
made a clean breast of things and did 
everything within his financial power to 
cure her. Such were the cases No. 1 and 
2. The husband in case No. 3 was just 
the opposite — he was a low, contemptible 
brute, of which we have not a few, and 
his wife, on finding out the true state of 
affairs, did not hesitate long in making 
him know clearly and distinctly her true 

Case 4. Aged twenty-eight. Married 
four years. Three months ago gave birth 



to a child, after a very difficult labor. 
The child was afflicted with ophthalmia 
neonatorum and is now completely blind 
in one eye. Only after the greatest care 
and attention was the other eye saved. 
Since giving birth to the child she has been 
a very sick woman, running a tempera- 
ture of 101 to 103° Fahrenheit and losing 
flesh rapidly. She has had no intercourse 
since. An examination showed the pres- 
ence of an abundant ichorous discharge, 
containing numerous gonococci. There 
can be hardly any doubt that she became 
infected soon after marriage, but the dis- 
ease was of a mild, dormant character, as 
it often is in women; but as is also often 
the case, pregnancy and labor stirred up 
the activity of the gonococci, the numerous 
raw surfaces offered a favorable soil for 
the growth of the germs, and she got a 
severe acute infection. From local the 
infection soon became systemic and she 
died of gonorrheal endocarditis. 

Case 5. Aged thirty-six. Married 



fourteen years. Has had nine miscar- 
riages and three children, one of whom 
died within a few minutes, and the other 
two within three days after birth. The 
woman is very anxious to have a child, as 
so many good women are, and tho the hus- 
band knew that he was strongly syphili- 
tic, and that he infected her, he did not 
intimate to her that there was anything 
the matter with her, and did not suggest 
that she needed treatment. The woman 
was considerably run down, but under 
proper treatment she gained rapidly in 
color, flesh and strength. She asked if 
she could soon have a living baby. I told 
her yes. But I told her it would be best 
for her not to have any babies just now, 
because the child might be born sickly, 
deformed or die in early infancy. Of 
course she would rather die than bring 
into the world a sickly, deformed child, 
and she will take good care that she does 
not do it. After two or three years of 
constant, honest treatment, if all the 



symptoms and signs are negative, she 
might run the chance of giving birth to a 
child. What has that woman's life been 
but one continuous round of misery, suf- 
fering and disappointment? All because 
the husband married her when he was in a 
florid, infectious stage of syphilis, and 
because he knew that infecting and ruin- 
ing the life of his wife carried with it no 

Case 6. Age thirty. Married nine 
years. Presents a horrible sight. Be- 
came apparently infected within the first 
month of her married life, for she remem- 
bers that she had a severe rash all over her 
body about two months after she was mar- 
ried. A homeopathic doctor was then 
consulted and he told her it was due to 
measles. Now her nose is deeply sunken, 
she has an ulcerating gumma on the left 
collar-bone, an immense ulcer on the left 
leg — occupying almost two-thirds of the 
circumference of the limb — and a smaller 
ulcer on the right leg. The soft palate 



is ulcerated thru, and her voice is of course 
extremely unpleasant. She has had sev- 
eral miscarriages, but unfortunately she 
gave birth to two living children also. 
Both are puny and sickly, one has a bad 
cataract on one eye, and the other is al- 
ready showing signs of epileptic fits. Both 
are mentally below par, and if they are 
not fortunate enough to die at an early 
age they will grow up to swell the army 
of deviates, defectives and degenerates. 
Perhaps they will belong to the class of 
the criminally insane and will end their 
lives in prison. 

Case 7. Pretty, charming, intellectual 
Mrs. X. Thirty-three years of age. 
Married five years. She married beneath 
herself socially and intellectually. But 
she was getting on in years, she became 
possessed of that unreasonable fear of 
remaining an old maid, and — the chief 
reason — she had a strong maternal in- 
stinct, and was "just crazy" to have a 
child. People do not suspect how strong 



this instinct is in many women. I did 
not suspect it myself until I saw it in my 
own practice. And many men would be 
painfully surprised if they knew the real 
reason why their wives married them; in 
many cases, I repeat, it is simply the ir- 
resistible desire to become a mother. 
And as they see the time passing, passing, 
they become seized with a subconscious 
fear of never becoming a mother, and then 
they accept the first "reasonable" offer, a 
man who may be very far removed from 
their ideal. As a rule such women are 
rather cool to their husbands and pour out 
all their love and affection on their chil- 
dren; they fill out their whole life. As I 
said above, Mrs. X. married Mr. X. prin- 
cipally because she wanted to be a mother. 
Imagine her disappointment, then her 
chagrin, then her despair, when year after 
year passed, and no sign of a child. With- 
out her husband's knowledge she had her- 
self examined and was pronounced healthy 
in every respect. She disliked to broach 



the subject to her husband, but so strong 
was her desire for a child that she over- 
came her reluctance and spoke to her hus- 
band, who pooh-poohed the matter, but 
she insisted and he came for an examina- 
tion. She came with him. A most pains- 
taking examination showed that he was 
free from gonorrhea, nor were there any 
signs of syphilis; in fact, he was in excel- 
lent health. A further examination, how- 
ever, revealed the existence of a former 
gonorrhea. To the question if he ever had 
gonorrhea he answered in the affirmative, 
and further questioning also brought back 
to his memory the fact that he had had a 
bilateral epididymitis. It then became 
clear why Mrs. X. never became preg- 
nant. To her anxious question whether 
she could have a child I was obliged to 
answer that it was not likely; that at any 
rate it would require long, long treat- 
ment. And here she broke out in sobs 
and her tears came down in torrents. She 
tried to restrain herself but could not. It 


was a pitiful picture. One could see that 
she felt that she was cheated — cheated of 
her hopes and expectations and ambi- 

Case 8. This case is very similar to the 
preceding one, as far as the wife is con- 
cerned. For ten years she was praying 
for a child, but her prayer was not an- 
swered. She was examined a number of 
times and found all right. The husband 
did not consider it necessary to have him- 
self examined. At last she prevailed 
upon him. He denied ever having had 
venereal disease, and on examination I 
found that he was telling the truth. But 
I also found that he had but one testicle 
(monorchid) and that his "semen" was 
entirely free from spermatozoa. And 
here I was obliged to tell them that there 
was not any hope of their ever having chil- 
dren, that treatment would be useless and 
a waste of money. She did not break out 
in tears and sobs, but her face was a study 
worthy of the brush of a great painter. 



Case 9. Age thirty-four. Married 
seven years. Sallow, dingy complexion, 
anemic, poor appetite. Husband com- 
plains that she has been getting very 
cranky and irritable of late; almost im- 
possible to get along with her. As a girl 
and in the first years of married life she 
was of a kind and amiable disposition and 
very submissive. A diplomatic question- 
ing and examination of each spouse apart 
elicited the sad fact that the husband is 
almost completely impotent. He was suf- 
fering with frequent night emissions be- 
fore marriage, and it was as a cure for this 
condition that a doctor advised him to 
get married. And he did follow this stu- 
pid, criminal advice and got married 
without undergoing any treatment. And 
his condition has been getting worse and 
worse since marriage, so that now both 
libido and potentia are almost completely 
absent. During her entire married life 
the wife has not had sexual satisfaction 
once. The first two or three years she 



did not mind it, as she had practically no 
desire. But with the awakening of her 
sexual instinct she has been suffering 
quite pronouncedly, and lately, she told 
me, she had begun to feel as if she could 
not stand it any longer. 

Case 10. Age twenty-nine. Married 
five years. This case is similar to the pre- 
ceding one. The wife came to find out 
if there was any reason why she could not 
have any children. An examination dis- 
closed the astonishing fact, that she was 
still a virgin with intact hymen. Further 
examination disclosed the reason why: 
the husband was completely impotent; 
while libido was present, and the semen 
proved normal, potentia coeundi was 
entirely absent. 

Case 11. She had some misgivings on 
accepting him, as she feared that her 
money and her position might be some 
factors in his ardent wooing. But he was 
so nice, so strong, and so gentlemanly 
that she accepted him. Even before the 


honeymoon was over she began to per- 
ceive that he was not a paragon of virtue. 
The chief trouble was with his love for 
drink. He restrained himself at first, but 
later on he gave unrestrained license to 
his appetite and then he would break out 
in uncontrollable fits of passion. In short, 
she saw very soon that she had to deal 
with a confirmed dipsomaniac. And now 
her only anxiety is not to have any chil- 
dren from a drunken father. But she did 
become pregnant, and she is bearing the 
child in anguish, in fear that it will be born 
abnormal or that it will grow up a drunk- 
ard. She was determined to get rid of the 
fruit of her womb; whether she changed 
her mind or whether she succeeded in her 
determination I don't know. Rut her 
life is ruined. 

Case 12. When she married him she 
had no idea that there was anything wrong 
with him. Several months after marriage 
she discovered that he was suffering from 
mild epileptic attacks. He has had those 



attacks since childhood, but he did not 
consider it necessary to disclose the fact 
to her. She has had three children with 
him. One, a girl, seems to be quite nor- 
mal; of the other two, who are boys, one 
is subject to epileptic fits, and the other 
is a high grade imbecile. He shows signs 
of moral depravity, is cruel to whomever 
or whatever he can be (to animals par- 
ticularly), and when he grows up he will 
probably commit one or more crimes be- 
fore he is made innocuous. The feelings 
of that mother in general, and her feelings 
for her husband, can be better imagined 
than described. And still she is unable 
to free herself from his importunities, she 
cannot leave him for various reasons, and 
but for the fact that she at last learned 
the use of the proper means of preventing 
conception, she would be bringing into the 
world more epileptics, more imbeciles, to 
swell the vast overflowing ocean of mis- 
ery, wretchedness and crime, in which 
we are already wading knee-deep. 



Case 13. Mrs. N. N. No more piti- 
able tale could be told. A thousand times 
better had she never been born or had she 
died in infancy or had she committed sui- 
cide. For she is now a paralytic imbe- 
cile, confined to a state institution for the 
insane, a torment to herself and all those 
about her, her relatives praying for her 
death as a deliverance from her suffering. 
And she was a nice, bright, lively woman. 
But the husband infected her with syphi- 
lis, she received no treatment, until the 
symptoms became so prominent that they 
could not be overlooked; the disease was 
in a virulent form, and now she is a vic- 
tim of general paralysis of the insane, and 
it may be two or three years before death, 
the deliverer, will come to her and end her 
sufferings. The husband has escaped 
any brain involvement so far. Probably 
because he took energetic treatment. He 
may still become a victim to this, the most 
terrible sequel of syphilis. And I don't 
know if it would not be poetic justice if 



he did. Not because he infected his wife, 
but because, on account of his miserable 
cowardice and selfishness, he did not see 
to it that she got proper treatment, tho 
he knew full well the gravity of the dis- 

Case 14. This case is the most recent 
one I have seen. The couple were mar- 
ried just eight days ago, and last night 
she has already shown signs of an acute 
gonorrhea. Luckily they have taken the 
matter in hand at once, the husband did 
not try to conceal from his wife the true 
cause of her trouble, and he is willing to 
spend his last cent to get her well as 
quickly as possible. 

This case is important as showing the 
dastardliness of the quacks, and the share 
in this dastardly work of our radical news- 
papers. For the man in this case was 
treated by one of the advertising quacks 
for two years, and that quack assured him 
that he was all right, that J t was perfectly 
cured, that there wasn't any danger in 


his getting married. And the reason the 
man went to the quack was because he 
saw his ad in a radical newspaper, and 
he was unsophisticated enough to believe 
that a radical newspaper would not print 
any false and fraudulent advertisements. 
And so this poor woman has the radi- 
cal newspaper to thank for her disease. 
I hope the unthinking will not misunder- 
stand this remark of mine, and will not 
misinterpret it as an opposition to So- 
cialist or radical newspapers. Of course 
they are vastly superior in their general 
attitude to the average capitalist or con- 
servative journal, but in the matter of ad- 
vertisements they are not as careful as 
they should be. In a capitalist newspaper 
or journal which is published exclusively 
for profit, like the Hearst papers, one is 
not surprised to find anything. But 
A ething dishonest, something fraudu- 
lent foujii in a Socialist or radical news- 
paper is doubly/ainful, because so incon- 
sistent with the general policy of the pub- 



lication, and it is for that reason that we 
must call attention to it and that readers 
of radical newspapers must be vigilant 
and call the editor's attention to it when- 
ever a fraudulent or quack advertisement 

But to return to our subject. All this 
misery, multiplied by a hundred thou- 
sand, could be eliminated by a very simple 
means : by demanding from each male ap- 
plicant for a marriage license a physi- 
cian's certificate of freedom from every 
transmissible or at least from venereal or 
mental disease. I know that there would 
be a great deal of opposition to the enact- 
ment of such a law, but with public opin- 
ion thoroly awakened and in favor of it, 
few legislators would dare publicly to op- 
pose it. 

I know the objections that are likely to 
be raised. One is that the candidates 
would go to unscrupulous quacks who 
would for a few dollars give them the de- 
sired certificate even when they were in 



the infectious stage. But this can easily 
be obviated by demanding that the certifi- 
cate be signed by a reputable physician. 
No advertising quack is considered a rep- 
utable physician, and no reputable phy- 
sician would risk his reputation by giving 
a false certificate. 

Another objection is that the candi- 
dates could go to another State and get 
married. If all the States had such laws 
then of course the candidate would have 
nowhere to go; but even before all the 
States pass such laws this can be easily 
obviated by declaring null and void a 
marriage between citizens of a certain 
State who in order to escape the require- 
ments of their State law went into an- 
other State to get married. This is ac- 
tually done in Indiana. Residents of the 
State of Indiana who go into another 
State to get married, and return to In- 
diana, are subject to penalties, and have 
their marriage declared null and void. 

The mere presence of such a law on 


the statute books would have a wonderful 
educational effect. The young men, 
knowing that before they could hope to 
get married they must present a clean 
bill of health, would be exceedingly care- 
ful in their sexual relations, would use 
much greater precautions to avoid vene- 
real infection; and having had the misfor- 
tune to become infected, they would at 
once seek the most competent and most 
energetic treatment. And even without 
passing such a law, if merely the idea be- 
came common, many young men would 
consider it their duty and their wish to 
have themselves examined before entering 
matrimony, and bring a certificate of 
freedom from any transmissible disease 
to their respective brides. It is being 
done now among certain people, but the 
number is still too small to have any ap- 
preciable effect on the post-marital inci- 
dence of venereal disease. However it is 
becoming more and more common. 
I might also say that the custom now 



prevailing in the better families of having 
the prospective bridegroom take out a 
life insurance policy for a considerable 
amount of money is done not only for the 
purpose of protecting the young wife in 
case of the husband's premature death, 
but also for the purpose of ascertaining 
his physical condition. The bridegroom's 
prospective parents-in-law do not say 
brutally that this is the purpose, but the 
bridegroom understands it. Unfortunate- 
ly the life insurance examination cannot 
generally determine the presence or ab- 
sence of gonorrhea or syphilis, except 
when those diseases are present in too 
self-evident a condition — for the life in- 
surance examiner does not express the 
prostate to examine the prostatic secre- 
tion, nor does he perform the Wasser- 
mann test to ascertain the presence or 
absence of syphilis. 

I stated that a certificate of freedom 
from venereal disease should be demanded 
from every male applicant. Some might 



ask, why not also from every female ap- 
plicant, and those who are for equality of 
the sexes cannot see why the woman 
should be given privileges which the men 
do not possess. Theoretically there is no 
reason why it should not be so, but we 
live in a practical world and every reform 
advocated must have a sane, rational 
foundation — and the reason why I say 
that it is not necessary to demand a cer- 
tificate of freedom from venereal disease 
from every female applicant is because 
the proportion of infected women to in- 
fected men, speaking of course of the re- 
spectable classes, is as one to one hun- 
dred. The difference may even be greater, 
and it seems to me absurd to subject a 
thousand women to vaginal examinations 
in order to perhaps find one who is infect- 
ed. Of course, should our women be- 
come as emancipated as the men, and 
should they adopt the same sexual stand- 
ard as the men, and should venereal dis- 
ease among our unmarried women become 


as common as it is among the men, then 
they should be required to furnish a certif- 
icate just as well as the men. But what 
I said applies only to the certificate of 
freedom from venereal disease. As con- 
cerns mental diseases, such as insanity, 
epilepsy, and so forth, the requirement 
should now apply to women just as well 
as to men. 

One section I would incorporate in this 
law — such a provision exists in Norway 
and there is no reason why it should not 
exist here — namely, that knowingly in- 
fecting a person with venereal disease 
should be considered and punished as a 
felony. It should not be necessary to 
prove malice, the mere fact that the per- 
son knew that he had the disease and con- 
cealed the fact from his or her partner 
should be sufficient for a conviction, and 
for rendering any marriage null and void. 

It might be objected that many mental 
diseases, or mental taints rather, cannot 
be detected by an examination, and there- 


fore many people in whose families there 
is feeblemindedness, insanity and epilepsy 
would still be married, but this possibility 
would be obviated by the requirement 
that all candidates for marriage make a 
sworn statement that there has been no 
mental disease in his or her immediate 
ancestry. Of course swearing falsely 
would subject the parties to the usual 
penalties for perjury. 

How about people who, knowing the 
exact condition of their partners, decide 
to disregard all risks and to marry in spite 
of possible dangers? Would I or would 
I not permit them to marry? This brings 
up an entirely different question. Pro- 
vided there is full knowledge on both sides 
of the true state of affairs, I would per- 
mit them to marry — but with one condi- 
tion, that under no circumstances should 
they bring forth children. As long as 
there are no children the State has no 
right to interfere with the private af- 
fairs of two individuals. But this is an- 


other story, a story for another essay. 
To show how rapidly the sentiment for 
the health certificate as a prerequisite to 
the marriage license is spreading, it is suf- 
ficient to mention that in a number of 
States that have no laws on the subject a 
number of prominent clergymen an- 
nounce that they will not perform the 
marriage ceremony unless such a certifi- 
cate is brought to them. We thus see that 
the discussion and agitation of public ques- 
tions do have a great influence and are 
necessary preliminaries to the enactment 
of any laws. In fact no law is worth 
very much that has not behind it a strong 
public opinion formed by previous dis- 
cussion, and our friends who sneer at talk- 
ing, talking, and always want that some- 
thing be doing, doing, are unnecessarily 
impatient. Talking is also doing. A 
word is a deed. It is often more impor- 
tant than the deed. 


Chapter V 


WE now come to our third meas- 
ure: the sterilization of the 
unfit. No matter how much 
we may believe in the importance of 
environment, no matter if we believe 
that environment is much more impor- 
tant than heredity in the building up of a 
human being, still to deny the importance 
of heredity w T ould be absurd. The influ- 
ence of heredity on the physical man we 
see every day, every hour, at every step. 
The direct influence on the mental and 
moral makeup of a human being is not so 
clearly apparent, but it can nevertheless 
be distinctly traced, and nobody who has 


given the subject any study can deny its 

Personally I am very far from taking 
for granted everything some of our eu- 
genists say, and many of the terrible ex- 
amples they give as terrible examples of 
heredity could on closer analysis be shown 
to be the result of environment. Here for 
instance is a case which the eugenists like 
to give as proof positive of the influence 
of heredity: 

"A young man of good family, after his 
discharge from the Continental Army, 
mated with a feebleminded girl in New 
Jersey. Later the young man married a 
Quakeress and founded a family which 
has since become distinguished in trade 
and the learned professions. From the 
feebleminded daughter of the first mar- 
riage there were 480 descendants. From 
the eight normal children of the second 
marriage there were only 365 descend- 



The status of the descendants is as fol- 

Of the feeble- Of the nor- 
minded mother mal mother 

Normal 46 362 

minded 143 

mate 36 


Immoral ... 33 1 

Syphilitics .... 3 

Criminals 3 

Epileptic 3 

Kept house 

of ill-fame . . 8 

Insane 1 1 

Alcoholic 24 1 

Died in 

Infancy 82 15 

Striking as this case seems at first 
glance, it proves nothing except the un- 
doubted heredity of feeblemindedness, 
and that I do not deny. Feebleminded- 
ness jf strongly hereditary and the pro- 
creation of children by feebleminded par- 


ents should be prevented— I will speak of 
this point later on. But examine all the 
other abnormalities in the descendant 
from the illegitimate mother and you will 
find that they can all be explained by en- 

We are told that among the descend- 
ants from the illegitimate mother there 
were thirty-six illegitimate children, and 
none illegitimate from the good mother. 
This is not a proof of heredity; it is a 
proof of poverty and low social condi- 
tions. Naturally the rich and the well-to- 
do do not have illegitimate children; they 
get properly married at the proper age; 
and if it does sometimes happen that the 
daughter of a rich family gets illegiti- 
mately pregnant, she does not have to 
carry the child to term — for money she 
can always get an accommodating abor- 
tionist who will relieve her of the unde- 
sired fruit. The poor cannot afford this 
and often have to carry to term the child 
of an illicit relationship. The same thing 


with the next point. Among the descend- 
ants of the bad mother we are told there 
were three syphilitics, among the descend- 
ants of the good — none. The statistician 
cannot be so very sure of it, for the poor 
man, if he gets syphilis, is unable to get 
treatment until the signs of the disease 
are so prominent that everybody can see 
them, or he must apply to a charitable in- 
stitution where his condition becomes 
known. The well-to-do goes to a physi- 
cian, the external symptoms are quickly 
removed and his history is kept sacredly 
secret. I know of hundreds of syphilitics 
who move in the best society and nobody 
suspects that they ever were or are now 
afflicted with the disease. The same ap- 
plies to the next point — criminals. Among 
the descendants of the illegitimate mother 
there were three criminals, among the 
descendants of the good none. Poverty 
is very frequently the cause of crime, and 
it is not necessary to bring in heredity. 
— The next point deals with epileptics. 


Among the descendants of the illegitimate 
mother there were three epileptics. Here 
again we deal with a real factor. Feeble- 
mindedness often does lead to epilepsy in 
the descendants. — The next point is: 
"Kept houses of ill-fame." Among the 
descendants of the illegitimate mother 
there were eight, among the descendants 
of the good mother none. This of course 
can easily be explained by poverty. No- 
body keeps houses of ill-fame out of vi- 
ciousness or immorality, it is generally the 
economic conditions that force people to 
such an occupation. Of insane, we see 
there were the same number in both fami- 
lies. Alcoholics, twenty-four among the 
descendants of the illegitimate mother, 
one among the descendants of the good 
mother. This can be easily explained, and 
we certainly do not need to run to hered- 
ity for an explanation. First, poverty and 
example will often lead to alcoholism 
without any hereditary taint ; and second, 
what I stated about sexual immorality 


and illegitimate children applies here too: 
the rich man may be alcoholic and no- 
body will know of it. He can take his 
booze in the privacy of the home and his 
neighbors will be none the wiser, while if 
a poor man is alcoholic he gets into the 
station house and the community knows 
about it. — Died in infancy, among the 
descendants of the illegitimate 82, among 
the descendants of the good mother only 
15. Here we certainly do not need hered- 
ity to account for the difference. If we 
take into consideration the large number 
of children born from the illegitimate 
mother, their unfavorable economic condi- 
tions, their neglect, the difference is suf- 
ficiently accounted for. 

It seems that for many years to come 
we will not be able to speak of eugenics, of 
the influence of heredity, without bring- 
ing in the notorious Jukes family. This 
family is always given us as a terrible ex- 
ample of what one bad man can do in 
bringing into the world criminals and in- 


sane and what an awful lot of money and 
trouble he may cause the State. The his- 
tory of the Jukes family is briefly as fol- 

"Max, the founder, was a good-natured 
drunken vagabond and the father of five 
daughters. In five generations this fam- 
ily numbered about twelve hundred per- 
sons, of whom the life histories of 540 
were easily traced. Very few of them 
ever did a good thing for themselves or 
the State, or refrained from doing a bad 
one. Only twenty of the twelve hundred 
followed a trade, and ten of these learned 
it in prison; 310 spent 2,300 years in 
poorhouses; 300, or one in four, died in 
infancy; 440 were physical wrecks from 
debauchery; 50 were prostitutes; 7 were 
murderers; 60 were habitual thieves, who 
averaged twelve years behind the bars, 
and 130 were one or more times convicted 
of crimes. It was estimated that to 1877, 
when the inquiry stopped, the family of 
Jukes had cost the state, thru crime and 


pauperism, over $1,250,000, or more than 
$1,000 for every person in whose veins 
flowed the tainted blood of Max." 

Look into the history carefully, ana- 
lyze it, and you will see that by far the 
greater part of the misdeeds and crimes 
of the descendants of the jolly Jukes may 
be accounted for by poverty and by en- 
vironment. It is quite natural that when 
children grow up among thieves they 
should become thieves themselves; it is 
quite natural when girls see their older 
sisters prostituting themselves they should 
also follow the same path. I am not at all 
sure but that, if the descendants of Mr. 
Jukes had been put into a different 
environment, brought up properly, given 
plenty of food and clothes, by far the 
greater number of them would have 
turned out model citizens and citizenesses. 

As you see, I am not an extremist on 
the subject and do not in the least under- 
estimate the tremendous importance of 
environment, and nevertheless I say that 


there are certain conditions which cannot 
be influenced by environment, and it is 
in those conditions that the State has a 
right to step in and prevent propagation 
and the corruption and pollution of the 
race. What are those cases? Let me 
give you an illustrative example or two. 
Proper illustrations always make a sub- 
ject clearer than any amount of abstract 

A man of the lower classes and a low 
class man — the two are far from being 
synonymous — became infected with syph- 
ilis. He got a little desultory treatment 
and at the end of a year he decided to get 
married. And he got married. Our so- 
cial and economic conditions are such that 
there is not a low, contemptible, diseased 
wretch of the male species who cannot get 
a woman to marry him if he wants to 
marry. Of course he very promptly in- 
fected his wife and also very promptly 
impregnated her. She had four or five 
miscarriages one after another and then, 


the virulence of the disease having to a 
certain extent spent itself, she began to 
have living children. She had eleven of 
them. Six very properly and very wisely, 
both for themselves and for the commu- 
nity, died in early infancy. Five unfor- 
tunately remained alive, three boys and 
two girls. All five are strongly heredi- 
tarily syphilitic, the stigmata in them are 
unmistakable. They are all feebleminded 
and one is also epileptic, they are physi- 
cally weak, in short, they are absolutely 
rotten and no good can be expected of 
them in any respect whatever: only evil 
and misery both for themselves and for 
the community. 

In former ages when natural selection 
was given more sway than at the present 
time they would have been left to shift 
for themselves, and they would probably 
have succumbed to the struggle at a very 
early age, which would have been all right. 
But now our humanitarian instincts do 
not permit us to let nature work out her 


own salvation in her crude, cruel, but often 
beneficent, way. Our methods are more 
gentle, more humane, and on the whole 
more efficient, even tho sometimes decid- 
edly misdirected. From the point of view 
of abstract justice, and of the greatest 
good not only to the greatest but to the 
whole number, the best thing would be 
to gently chloroform these children or to 
give them a dose of potassium cyanide, 
but in our humane and civilized age such 
measures are not looked upon with favor. 
So the State is taking care of them. The 
State found these five children neglected, 
starving, not attending school, and it de- 
cided to look out for them. It tried to 
put them to school to get some education, 
but they were found to be feebleminded 
and absolutely unable to acquire any 
knowledge, so they are kept in an institu- 
tion for the support of which the people 
pay — and the workingmen pay propor- 
tionately much more than do the rich. It 
will keep them there till the age of eight- 


een or twenty-one. Then it will let them 
loose. Above that age the State has noth- 
ing to do with its defectives and deviates 
unless they become criminal or insane. 
And here is the point : These five human 
beings, three of the male and two of the 
female species, when let loose will at once 
begin to indulge their sexual instincts and 
they will bring forth numerous progeny, 
feebleminded, epileptic, insane and crim- 
inal, and those in their turn will go on do- 
ing the same over and over, thus weaken- 
ing and polluting the blood stream of the 
human race. 

It is in such cases that I say we have a 
right to step in and prevent the possibility 
of any further procreation. Before sex- 
ual maturity those five children should be 
sterilized, the boys by vasectomy, the girls 
by salpingectomy. No casuistry, no so- 
phistry can offer any argument against 
the sterilization of such defectives. It is 
the acme of stupidity, in my opinion, to 
talk in such cases of individual liberty, of 


the rights of the individual. Such indi- 
viduals have no rights. They have no 
right in the first instance to be born, but 
having been born, they have no right to 
propagate their kind. As a matter of 
fact, they are not anxious to propagate, 
all they want is to indulge their sexual 
instinct, and of this they are not de- 
prived. And if they were sufficiently ra- 
tional and humane to understand the 
meaning of responsibility they themselves 
would be the first ones to demand that 
they be sterilized, that they be prevented 
from bringing unhappy creatures into the 

Some things are going on at which you 
would stand aghast. I know personally 
of an opium fiend who is subject to peri- 
odic attacks of insanity. His time is 
spent between home and the lunatic asy- 
lum. And each time when he gets home 
from the lunatic asylum he takes his wife 
with his pent-up sexual passion and im- 
pregnates her. Under our social, eco- 


nomic and religious system, the wife does 
not own her own body, and tho the hus- 
band is repellant to that woman in the 
highest degree, she cannot escape his em- 
braces. She begged me to give her some 
means for the prevention of conception, 
but under our paternal, beneficent and 
kindly laws if we teach such a woman 
how she can avoid being impregnated by 
her brutal husband, we subject ourselves 
to a penalty of five years' hard labor and 
$5,000 fine. A man like that should cer- 
tainly be sterilized. It is not merely our 
right to do so, it is our absolute duty. 

There are congenital nymphomaniac 
prostitutes who bring a number of chil- 
dren into the world. Their heredity is 
almost invariably bad, and no change of 
environment can cure them. Such moth- 
ers should be sterilized equally with their 
children. — There are degenerates of a low 
type whose chief characteristic is cruelty. 
They show their cruelty even when they 
are children. They like to torture ani- 


mals or other children, they take a posi- 
tive delight in seeing some living crea- 
ture suffer. Such beings should be ster- 

Should criminals be sterilized? This 
brings up a very important question, a 
question which can be answered properly 
only after the most careful and sys- 
tematic consideration of every factor en- 
tering into the case. Our professional 
eugenists talk glibly of the sterilization 
of criminals. To them everybody who 
has transgressed the law or the statute 
book is a criminal. We who have made a 
study of social conditions know that not 
everybody who is in prison is necessarily 
a criminal, no more than everybody who 
is out of prison is a non-criminal. We 
know that a large percentage of our crim- 
inals are made directly by our economic 
and social conditions. And therefore be- 
fore I would consent to the sterilization 
of criminals I would demand to know that 
the man is really a congenital criminal, 


suffering from what may be called moral 
insanity, who is devoid of the sense of 
right and wrong, to whom human suffer- 
ing means nothing, who rather enjoys the 
destruction, death and agony of others. 
Such criminals should of course be ster- 
ilized. Of course it would be better still 
if they could be removed from the world 

Briefly, I would summarize the matter 
as follows: All mental or moral insane, 
all feebleminded, all cruel degenerates, 
congenital criminals and congenital prosti- 
tutes, and all paupers who, after the 
means of prevention have been given them, 
continue to breed children whom they can- 
not support and which become a public 
charge, should be prevented from propa- 
gating their kind, the men by vasectomy, 
the women by salpingectomy. The opera- 
tion of vasectomy is a trifling one and in- 
volves no pain, mutilation, or danger to 
health or life. The operation of oopho- 
rectomy or salpingectomy is a more se- 


rious one, but would be fully justified by 
the circumstances. 

Before concluding this phase of the sub- 
ject, I might explain two or three terms 
for the benefit of those who may not be 
familiar with them. You have heard me 
mention several times the word steriliza- 
tion. To the general public the word 
sterilization means rendering free from 
germs or bacteria. But the root is the 
same, the word sterilis in Latin meaning 
barren, and it also means rendering in- 
capable of reproduction, and when we 
speak of sterilizing a degenerate or a crim- 
inal we mean rendering him or her inca- 
pable of begetting or bearing children. 

Vasectomy means the cutting out of a 
piece of the vas deferens. The vas defer- 
ens is a tube or duct which conducts the 
semen from the testicles into the seminal 
vesicles, which from there is discharged 
into the urethra. By cutting the vas 
deferens, or simply strongly ligating it 
(i. e., tying it with a string or ligature), 



we prevent any spermatozoa from passing 
out of the testicles ; and, of course, a man 
with both vasa deferentia cut or ligated is 
incapable of begetting children. This 
operation is a trifling one, does not neces- 
sitate general anesthesia, can be done even 
without local anesthesia, does not confine 
the person to bed, is not painful, and does 
not in any way affect the masculinity of 
the person. Castration means removing 
of the testicles. That is a much more 
serious operation, does away with both 
sexual desire and sexual power, and does 
have a profound effect on the man's char- 
acter. In the case of vicious criminals 
or degenerates and confirmed rapists, I 
would decidedly prefer castration to vas- 
ectomy, because castration seems to make 
such people milder and more submissive. 
Oophorectomy is removal of the ova- 
ries. Salpingectomy is the removal of the 
oviducts or Fallopian tubes which conduct 
the ova from the ovaries into the uterus. 
The removal of the ovaries has a profound 



effect on a woman's character. The re- 
moval of the tubes has not, and as far as 
reproduction is concerned the removal of 
the tubes is just as efficient as the removal 
of the ovaries. Therefore I would advo- 
cate salpingectomy in preference to 


Chapter VI 

MY fourth means for prevent- 
ing degeneration of the hu- 
man stock consists in venereal 

The three great physical scourges of 
humanity at the present day are : venereal 
disease, alcoholism and tuberculosis, and 
some maintain that venereal disease is a 
greater scourge than the other two com- 
bined, for the misery which it directly and 
indirectly causes is incalculable. It 
causes incalculable suffering to the indi- 
vidual and his immediate family, and it 
is one of the most terrible causes of the 
physical and mental degeneration of the 
race, and it is evident that one of the most 
important means for the improvement of 
the human stock is to prevent venereal 



disease. On this we are all agreed, ortho- 
dox and radical alike, but when it comes 
to the means the orthodox and radicals 
are at loggerheads. The orthodox have 
but one means for the prevention of vene- 
real disease: namely, complete abstinence 
from extra - marital intercourse. This 
means is absolute, it is perfect. It is the 
only practically perfect tho not absolute 
preventive of venereal infection. The 
radical recognizes this, but he says that 
it is useless to advocate chastity because 
the human sexual instinct is stronger than 
any religious precept or sanitary injunc- 
tion, it has disregarded all fears, scruples 
and punishments in the past and will dis- 
regard them in the future. Besides the 
radical sexologist claims that sexual ab- 
stinence or sexual repression beyond a 
certain age is apt to lead to a whole train 
of physical disorders and nervous and 
psychic disturbances. 

He therefore looks for other means for 
the prevention of venereal disease. He 



looks to actual preventives and he does 
find that in the armies and navies where 
the use of venereal prophylactics is oblig- 
atory with the soldiers and sailors the in- 
cidence of venereal disease has been re- 
duced to a minimum. Thus for instance, 
while the venereal morbidity in the British 
and United States armies is 200 per 1,000, 
it is in the Prussian army only 4 per thou- 
sand. In other words, 196 per thousand 
of the soldiers are saved from venereal 
disease by the use of venereal prophylac- 
tics, which is certainly a remarkable show- 
ing. And the radicals, to whose ranks I 
have the honor to belong, advocate the 
dissemination of the knowledge of the use 
of venereal prophylactics among the laity. 
I advocate their use too, and wherever 
necessary I instruct my patients in their 
employment, and still I hesitate to affirm 
that the universal use of venereal prophy- 
lactics can be considered one of the un- 
equivocal means of improving the human 
race, and for these reasons. First of all, 



the venereal prophylactics are never ab- 
solute, they will never protect from syph- 
ilitic mucous patches in the mouth or else- 
where, so there is always some risk. Sec- 
ond, it cannot be denied that the fear of 
venereal infection does act as a deterrent 
in a certain percentages of cases, which 
deterrent being removed would induce 
many men to indulge in sexual relations 
either at a much earlier age than they 
otherwise would or much more frequently 
than they otherwise would. In either case 
this would mean physical degeneration. 
It might also mean additional venereal 
infection, both on account of the greater 
frequency of the sexual relations and on 
account of the carelessness resulting from 
the imagined sense of security. 

Venereal prophylaxis, together with a 
number of other measures which I out- 
lined in my address on "What To Do 
With the Prostitute and How To Abolish 
Venereal Disease," * would result in prac- 

x Sce Sexual Problems of To-day. 


tically wiping out venereal disease, but 
venereal prophylactics alone will not do it, 
and while I advocate their use among 
mature adults and in individual cases, I 
do not wish to proclaim that the indis- 
criminate, universal use of venereal 
prophylactics is to be considered the fun- 
damental means for the regeneration of 
the human stock. I would much prefer 
early marriages with a knowledge of the 
means of regulating reproduction than 
late marriages with their unavoidable con- 
comitant — prostitution, even if the dan- 
gers of the latter are to a great extent 
diminished or obviated by the use of vene- 
real prophylactics. And it is for this 
reason that this measure, which some 
would consider first in importance, as be- 
ing applied to the very root of the evil, to 
the fons et origo mali, I have put at the 
very last. It is an excellent measure but 
it must be used with discrimination. 

I firmly believe that by the consistent 
and universal use of these four means: 


namely, teaching the people the proper 
means of the prevention of conception, de- 
manding a certificate of freedom from 
venereal or mental disease from every ap- 
plicant for marriage, eliminating by ster- 
ilization all the insane, degenerates and 
congenital criminals, and the universal use 
of venereal prophylactics, the human race 
would in a very short time be so enormous- 
ly improved physically, mentally, morally, 
and last but not least, economically, that 
one of the greatest steps toward the true 
millennium would be taken. Our prisons 
and insane asylums would lose the greater 
number of their inhabitants. Many of 
the beds in our hospitals would be vacant. 
There would be such an improvement in 
the human material that the hope of peace- 
ful, rational living and working together, 
and the spirit of true brotherhood, of true 
human love, would not be the dream and 
the chimera that it is at present. The 
true cooperative commonwealth would 
then be not a Utopia, but a reality. 



Chapter VII 

THE word eugenics, modestly and 
tentatively suggested by the im- 
mortal Francis Galton, a cousin 
of the immortal Charles Darwin, over 
thirty years ago, in a footnote in his work 
"Inquiries Into Human Faculty," has 
been lying dormant, as is usually the case, 
for many years. But it has gradually 
worked its way up, until it has become one 
of the common words in our language, is 
found in all modern dictionaries, is writ- 
ten about in medical and pseudo-medical, 
scientific and quasi-scientific journals, is 
joked about in our humorous and near- 
humorous publications, is on the lips of 
everybody who lays claim to a modicum 
of culture, and as is also usually the case, 


is badly misunderstood, and is given by 
some an inadequate, incorrect or even dis- 
torted meaning. To give but one exam- 
ple : With a good many people the word 
eugenics has become synonymous with 
heredity; they are under the impression 
that the eugenists consider heredity every- 
thing and environment nothing. It is true 
that some so-called eugenists do, but that 
is not Galton's fault. If people were in 
the habit of going to original sources more 
often than they do, many errors and false 
notions would be obviated. It is true that 
the Greek word eugenes means well-born, 
of good stock, but as Galton explains in 
the above referred to footnote, this is not 
a question of proper mating only. Here 
is what he says: 

"We greatly want a brief word to ex- 
press the science of improving stock, which 
is by no means confined to questions of 
judicious mating, but which, especially in 
the case of man, takes cognizance of all 
influences that tend in however remote 


a degree to give to the more suitable races 
or strains of blood a better chance of pre- 
vailing speedily over the less suitable than 
they otherwise would have had. The word 
eugenics would sufficiently express the 
idea; it is at least a neater word and a 
more generalized one than viriculture, 
which I once ventured to use." 

And in another place he gives the fol- 
lowing definition: 

"Eugenics is the science which deals 
with all influences that improve the inborn 
qualities of a race; also with those that 
develop them to the utmost advantage." 

As is seen, Galton did not disregard 
environmental influences and if we took 
the term eugenics in the broad sense in 
which he understood it, we would not have 
to create new words such as euthenics, and 
eudemics, for eugenics embraces them all. 

In another place Galton says: 

"Nature is all that a man brings with 
himself into the world; nurture is every 
influence from without that affects him 


after his birth. The distinction is clear; 
the one produces the infant such as it ac- 
tually is, including its latent faculties of 
growth, of body and mind; the other af- 
fords the environment amid which the 
growth takes place, by which natural ten- 
dencies may be strengthened or thwarted, 
or wholly new ones implanted." 

There is no disregard here of environ- 
ment as an important factor in the devel- 
opment of the individual. And as a mat- 
ter of fact no rational eugenist denies the 
great importance of environment and 
post-natal influences on the individual and 
the race. The only distinction between the 
true eugenists and the environmentalists 
is that the former consider the inborn 
qualities of an individual superior to en- 
vironment. As Galton says: 

"When nature and nurture compete for 
supremacy on equal terms (in the sense 
to be explained), the former proves the 
stronger. It is needless to insist that 
neither is self-sufficient; the highest nat- 


ural endowments may be starved by de- 
fective nurture, while no carefulness of 
nurture can overcome the evil tendencies 
of an intrinsically bad physique, weak 
brain, or brutal disposition." 

To this statement it seems to me any 
environmentalist should be willing to sub- 


Chapter VIII 


AS stated, no rational eugenist de- 
nies the great importance of en- 
vironment in developing the in- 
dividual's potential talent and character- 
istics, and no rational euthenist will deny 
the importance of heredity, of good blood, 
of sound parentage. Nevertheless there 
are two camps, determined by the impor- 
tance attributed by each camp to heredity 
and environment respectively. The out- 
and-out eugenist, or let us say the extreme 
eugenist, is apt to look rather with con- 
tempt at all or most social endeavors to 
ameliorate the condition of the people. He 
is apt to look with antagonism at various 
medical and philanthropic agencies which 


aid the crippled and attempt to save the 
weak and deformed. He is apt to look 
with contempt at the socialist movement, 
for instance, because as he says the so- 
cialist attaches an undue value to eco- 
nomic and material conditions, and over- 
looks the importance of good racial stock. 
While not willing to come out openly as 
denying the importance of environment, 
he nevertheless claims that good stock is 
paramount to everything. As one euge- 
nist says: "Experimentally and statis- 
tically there is not a grain of proof that 
ordinarily environment can alter the sali- 
ent mental and moral traits in any meas- 
urable degree from what they were pre- 
determined to be thru innate influences." 
The extreme environmentalist, on the 
other hand, is sure to see the cause of all 
evil in our economic conditions. He sees 
a criminal, a lunatic, a vicious brute — he 
has the cause ready. It is all economic 
conditions. The narrow theory of eco- 
nomic determinism has a tendency to be- 


fog some pretty clear minds, and to dis- 
tort their perspective on many important 

Both the hereditarian and the environ- 
mentalist, the eugenist and the euthenist, 
are right, and both are wrong. While it 
is not exactly a profitless task to try to 
determine which is of greater importance 
for the weal or woe of the race, heredity or 
environment, the best results will be ac- 
complished only when we bear in mind 
the importance of both factors and try to 
improve both. 


Chapter IX 

AS everybody creates his god in his 
own image, according to his own 
intellectual and moral standards, 
so very often a great movement becomes 
degraded and distorted because thru one 
or more features in it it attracts a number 
of people who are not intellectually capa- 
ble of fully comprehending it and they 
drag it down to their own level. These 
overzealous or fool friends hurt a move- 
ment more than its pronounced enemies 
do. Just as the great socialist movement 
is hurt by its extreme, overzealous, igno- 
rant or selfish members, so the eugenic 
movement is being hurt by some of its gro- 
tesque, barnacular ( I do not know if this 
adjective will pass muster) adherents. 


Some have an idea that anybody who is 
not a churchgoing member and differs in 
any way from the dull, smug, respectable, 
platitudinous mediocrities is an abnormal, 
and is a proper subject for the eugenists. 
Some of these pseudo-eugenists would, if 
they had the power, castrate or sterilize 
every man or woman who is not strictly 
moral according to their standard of mo- 
rality, who smokes, drinks a glass of beer, 
indulges in illicit sexual relations, or dares 
to doubt the literal veracity of the Bible. 
I am not joking or exaggerating. As 
editor of The Critic and Guide, which is 
known as a journal that devotes a good 
deal of space to birth-control and eugenics, 
lam honored frequently with contributions 
from physicians and laymen who consider 
themselves eugenists, and who, some of 
them, are quite prominent in their respec- 
tive States. You would open your eyes 
very wide if you could read the inane 
drivel contained in some of those articles. 
One launches into a twenty-page tirade 


against tobacco, as the cause of all immor- 
ality and degeneracy; another one selects 
alcohol as his target, but not alcoholism 
or alcohol in excess — no, even in the most 
moderate quantities it is "humanity's 
curse, and the cause of all evil, misery and 
poverty." A third one has a special ha- 
tred towards the stage and considers the 
closing up of all theaters as one of the 
greatest "eugenic" measures. For the 
theater stimulates sensuality, sensuality 
leads to illicit sexual relations, illicit sex- 
ual relations lead to venereal disease, ve- 
nereal disease leads to the decadence of 
the race, and there you are ! Another one, 
a very ardent advocate of vasectomy, 
would, if he had his way, subject to this 
operation, so that they might not transmit 
their criminal tendencies to their off- 
spring, all anarchists, socialists, atheists, 
free-lovers, paupers, in addition to crim- 
inals, syphilitics and degenerates. 

Of course, we have nothing to do with 
these amateur or pseudo-eugenists, and we 


are not to be held responsible for their 
grotesqueries and extravaganzas. Nor 
need we feel alarmed at their activity or 
propaganda, for there is not the slightest 
chance that they will ever be put in a po- 
sition of power where they will be able to 
do what they think they would like to do. 
Their very absurdities will lead to an op- 
position of another kind, an opposition 
which will fight every eugenic attempt. 
The worst of these pseudo-eugenists is 
that they render ridiculous and thus retard 
the advancement of true eugenics ; but to 
be alarmed at them there is no cause. 


Chapter X 


HERE are some facts which go to 
prove the eugenist's position 
that blood is more important 
than environment. One case reported by- 
Davenport is as follows: Both father and 
mother are normal; father is an educated, 
respected physician; mother is a woman of 
talent, who has always been normal men- 
tally and physically, except for some mi- 
graine and chorea in girlhood. They have 
two boys. One is normal, truthful and 
lovable, the other is a liar and a thief. The 
mother's father, whom the children never 
even heard of, was a drunkard and was 
involved in a murder. — I myself know a 
clever physician, with a big practice, who 
is normal in every way, except that in 



former years he was an excessive drinker. 
His wife is also perfectly normal. The 
child that was conceived in his alcoholic 
days was brought up amidst all comfort. 
He had all the pocket money he needed, 
nevertheless he turned out a thief and a 
burglar. Everything possible was done to 
reform him, to keep him from vicious com- 
panions, but to no avail. He was con- 
victed for his last burglary, at the age of 
twenty-one, and is now serving his sen- 
tence in Sing Sing. Will the environ- 
mentalist, or narrow socialist, still affirm, 
in view of such facts, which are quite nu- 
merous, that all stealing and burglary is 
due to economic conditions? 

Some of you may be familiar with the 
history of the Zero family, which has cost 
the little republic of Switzerland so much 
trouble and so much money. Several gen- 
erations back a vicious, degenerate male 
contracted a marriage with a degenerate 
female, and as the degenerates multiply 
very rapidly there were hundreds of de- 



scendants of this fine stock. One hun- 
dred and ninety of them were known to 
be alive in 1905, and the characteristics of 
these people were vagabondage, thievery, 
drunkenness, mental and physical defects 
and general "immorality." As long as half 
a century ago, namely in 1861, an attempt 
was made to improve the environment of 
many of these Zero children. They were 
taken away from their vicious surround- 
ings and placed in good families; but we 
learn that this philanthropic endeavor was 
a complete failure, for every one of the 
Zero children either ran away or was en- 
ticed away by his relatives. Recently a 
similar experiment was tried in Glasgow. 
Pauper children were boarded out among 
the respectable natives of the Western 
coast. The results were far from satisfac- 
tory. The little citizens of the Glasgow 
slums have created a rowdy and even crim- 
inal element in these formerly quiet vil- 
lages, and another slum area is in process 
of formation. 



I will confess that to me these two ex- 
periments are not quite conclusive. Be- 
fore they would carry conviction to me, I 
would have to know the exact character of 
the people to whom the members of the 
Zero family and the children of the Glas- 
gow slums were boarded out. We know 
that as a general thing the families who 
take orphans and criminal children for two 
©r three dollars a week are themselves not 
of a very high standard, and their meth- 
ods of dealing with these abnormal and 
hypersensitive children could not have 
been ideal. We are not sure that the chil- 
dren were not taunted with their low ori- 
gin and that brute force was not used to 
make them good. It takes pretty high 
class parents to properly bring up normal 
children; to bring up abnormal or vicious 
children requires a much higher grade of 
educators than is to be found among the 
"poor but respectable" natives of either 
Switzerland or Scotland. And I am not 
surprised that the children remained as 


tough as they were before, or, unable to 
stand the monotony and the killing re- 
ligious atmosphere of their new environ- 
ment, ran away. As I say, these experi- 
ments en masse are not conclusive. But 
we all know of individual cases of chil- 
dren who were born amidst the best sur- 
roundings, who were surrounded with lov- 
ing care and solicitude, and who turned 
out vicious or criminal, and on whom all 
efforts at reclamation were in vain. 


Chapter XI 

ONE of the objections raised to eu- 
genics by its opponents is that 
there is no criterion by which we 
can determine as to who is fit and who is 
unfit. They are afraid that in our anxiety 
to eliminate the unfit we might condemn 
to segregation or sterilization many peo- 
ple who are fit. Who is great enough, 
they say, to determine the fitness or un- 
fitness of any individual in the human 
race, and who will determine the fitness 
or unfitness of the examiners themselves? 
There are a great number of people in 
this world, who, because there are certain 
borderline cases on which decision is diffi- 
cult would discredit any movement which 
attempts to deal with cases on which de- 



cision is not difficult. There are certain 
microscopic organisms about which it is 
impossible to decide whether they belong 
to the vegetable or animal kingdom. This 
does not mean that there is any difficulty 
in differentiating between a cow and a po- 
tato. Because there are a few moments 
at dusk when it is difficult to say whether 
it is day or night it does not mean that 
we have any difficulty to decide between 
11 A. M. and 11 P. M. And because 
there are a few cases on the borderline 
about which there may exist some diffi- 
culty in deciding whether they are normal 
or abnormal it does not mean that there 
would be any difficulty in deciding the 
classification of a gibbering idiot, of a 
patient with dementia precox or with 
general paresis, of a feebleminded moron, 
of an imbecile cretin, of a confirmed 
brutal criminal, or of an incurable epi- 
leptic. To avoid any possible injustice 
or error the eugenists would deal only with 
cases about which no doubt could be pos- 


sible. All borderline or questionable cases 
would be left alone, and there is not the 
slightest danger that anybody would be 
unjustly segregated or sterilized. The 
safeguards of individual liberty are too 
strong, in Anglo-Saxon countries par- 
ticularly, for any one to fear any such 

As to the objection that sterilization is 
a cruel and unusual punishment and that 
we have "no right" to interfere with the 
"most sacred" of human functions, the 
function of reproduction, I will merely 
say that to me this objection is puerile and 
silly. The criminal seldom objects to be- 
ing deprived of the function of reproduc- 
tion, while the feebleminded and the in- 
sane have no rights whatever in the matter. 
Being incapable of discharging any of the 
functions of social beings, society need not 
ask them their permission for certain pro- 
cedures which it considers necessary for 
its welfare. We have no right to make the 
insane suffer, but we certainly have a 


right to prevent them from reproducing. 

As to the criminal, society does deprive 
him of his liberty, incarcerates him — so 
why has it not the right to deprive him of 
a function the exercise of which is apt 
to be very injurious to the race? And I 
will say here, in passing, that personally 
I would be in favor of the sterilization, 
preferably by castration, of all brutal 
criminals, such as pimps, burglars, gun- 
men, etc., and this entirely independently } 
of the question whether their criminality 
is transmissible to their offspring or not. 
For, assuming even that criminal traits, 
like those of the burglar, rowdy, pimp, 
etc., are not transmissible, their environ- 
ment certainly is, and we cannot think of 
the offspring of criminals growing up 
other than criminal; not on account of 
heredity necessarily, but on account of the 
horrible environment. 

Society cannot prevent the birth of all 
the unfit and degenerates, but it certainly 
has the right to prevent the birth of as 


many as it can. The sentimental objec- 
tion that the criminal is not responsible 
for what he is, and therefore we have no 
right to do to him this or that, is also 
worthless. The tiger is not responsible 
for what he is and still society would not 
permit any savage beast roaming about 
undisturbed in its midst merely because 
nature created him so, and when it comes 
to distinctly and unquestionably anti- 
social acts, a human being has no more 
rights than an animal. We pity the para- 
noiac, we pity the insane, we pity the de- 
generate, but none the less we have not 
only the right but it is our duty to prevent 
the paranoiac, the insane, and the degen- 
erate from reproducing their kind, from 
polluting the racial stock, and from being 
a social and economic burden to the sane, 
the normal and the healthy. 

A minor objection to sterilization may 
be referred to here. The opponents of 
sterilization of criminals and the feeble- 
minded say that this measure would prove 


a menace to the community in the follow- 
ing way: with their sexual libido and 
power unimpaired, and knowing that they 
are free from the danger of impregnating 
and becoming impregnated, they would 
give themselves up to unrestrained licen- 
tious debauchery, and would thus become 
great sources of venereal infection. To 
this I will say that criminals, degenerates 
and the feebleminded do not refrain now 
from sexual indulgence thru fear of im- 
pregnation or thru any other considera- 


Chapter XII 


I AM a profound believer in the power 
of the spoken and written word, in 
the influence of a man's beliefs on his 
life and conduct. Particularly when a 
man is on the borderline, vacillating be- 
tween two lines of conduct, can a book 
or a lecture change his entire line of 
thought, his method of looking at things, 
and with this his life conduct. I admit it 
is true that when a man is vacillating be- 
tween two lines of thought, he will select 
that line which will accord best with his 
feelings and sentiments, which will give 
him so to say an absolution for his action 
or non-action, which will justify him in his 
own eyes in his conduct towards his fellow- 
men. But there is no doubt that certain 



currents of thought, certain prevalent 
ideas and theories induce men to do cer- 
tain things frequently, boldly, unblushing- 
ly and boastfully, which they would other- 
wise do rarely, hesitatingly, secretly or 
not at all. And many of the world's 
great thoughts are crassly misunderstood 
and degraded to ignoble selfish uses. 

Darwin's theory of the survival of the 
fittest has been distorted and has been 
used by dishonest and piratical would-be 
supermen as an excuse to ride roughshod 
and trample upon their weaker f ellowmen. 
I am not referring only to captains of in- 
dustry but to ordinary mortals who use 
Darwin's theory as a cloak for egotistic, 
sometimes dastardly, actions towards their 
f ellowmen and even friends, and who stifle 
the protest of their conscience against the 
sufferings they cause with the excuse: 
"This is the law of nature, the weak must 
yield to the strong; the fittest must sur- 
vive, and in the process of elimination of 
the unfit suffering is inevitable." 



The distorted belief in the immutable 
fatalistic fixedness of the cruel laws of 
heredity is responsible for an incalculable 
amount of damage. The damage is of a 
twofold character, physical and spiritual. 
We all know what a tremendous influence 
the mind has on all our bodily functions, 
what depressing, debilitating effects are 
produced by the monster of fear. Con- 
stant fear that we are sure to get a certain 
disease may bring on that disease, or if 
not that disease, then by debilitating the 
body it renders it an easy victim to other 
diseases. And the fatalistic belief that 
"I am going to die of this disease because 
my father or mother died of it" is respon- 
sible for many unnecessary deaths. I 
knew a family. The father and mother 
died of tuberculosis. A boy and a girl 
were left. At the age of 17-18 they both 
began to show signs of incipient tuber- 
culosis. The boy was of a fatalistic turn 
of mind. "No use doing anything." He 
was sure that it was decreed that he should 


die of tuberculosis, and that was all there 
was to it. It was almost impossible to 
make him pursue any kind of treatment. 
When relatives insisted, he would go to 
the doctor, but he would not follow direc- 
tions, would leave the medicines three- 
quarters unfinished, and insisted on keep- 
ing up with his work. At the age of 
twenty-four he died of a pulmonary hem- 
orrhage while at work. The sister, one 
year younger, tho much weaker and frail- 
er than her brother, had made up her mind 
that she would fight the disease to the 
last ditch. She did not believe that she 
must die just because her father and 
mother died. She did not reason or ask 
any questions why, but just followed in- 
structions religiously, took all the fresh air 
and all the medicines she was ordered to 
(yes medicines too, for tho it is somewhat 
old-fashioned, I still believe with some 
good old-fashioned physicians like Jacobi 
and Beverley Robinson that drugs are of 
great adjuvant value in the treatment of 


pulmonary tuberculosis) and she is now 
alive and well. She is small, frail and not 
very robust, but of her tuberculosis there 
is no trace. 

Diseases of the kidneys may be in- 
duced or aggravated by worry, and I am 
convinced that many people have worried 
themselves into Bright's disease because 
one of their parents or relatives died of 
that disease. It is also possible that dia- 
betes may be caused by worry. 

Particularly pernicious is the belief in 
heredity in cases of mental disease. A 
person whose parents or near relatives suf- 
fered with insanity carries a terrible bur- 
den with him. The fear that he may fall 
a victim to that disease, which is much 
worse than death, is always with him like 
a nightmare, weighs him down and de- 
presses him, and has a deteriorating effect 
on both the psychic and somatic functions, 
and no doubt is not infrequently the direct 
cause of insanity. 

There is no intention to deny the in- 


fluence of heredity in certain diseases, but 
it is very important to bear in mind that 
the influence of heredity has been exag- 
gerated, that the lay and even the medical \y 
profession has taken the idea of heredity 
in too absolute a sense, and that we must 
change our ideas on the whole subject 
very radically. 

Feeblemindedness is strongly heredi- 
tary, but feeblemindedness, as stated else- 
where in this book, is not in the same cate- 
gory with insanity. 


Chapter XIII 

THE belief in the immutable fixed- 
ness of heredity, in the preforma- 
tion or predetermination of all 
our qualities and defects, strength and 
weakness, talents and capacities, in the 
germ-plasm has another extremely inju- 
rious effect. It paralyzes some people 
completely. It affects their conduct to- 
wards themselves and their fellowmen in 
a most detrimental manner. Finding 
himself with a certain temperamental vice 
or weakness, many a man folds his arms, 
saying: What is the use fighting against 
it? I cannot help it, I was born with it. 
It was predetermined in my ancestral 
germ-plasm a thousand or a million years 



This shows a complete misconception of 
the theory of heredity. We are born with 
certain potentialities, positive and nega- 
tive, social and anti-social; but whether 
these potentialities become actualities de- 
pend upon numerous factors, all com- 
prised in the word environment — domestic 
and social. And just as many a talent 
has never been awakened, has never come 
to light for lack of a proper stimulus, for 
lack of nourishment, so many an incipient 
vice may be overcome, may be diverted, 
by proper training. By forcing ourselves 
to do a certain thing which our reason and 
science tell us is good for us, even tho our 
body and character may rebel against it, 
we may create a habit, and by creating a 
good habit, the vice or bad habit is over- 
come. Just as a tuberculous diathesis can 
be overcome and a child of tuberculous 
parents with proper training, under the 
proper environment, may grow up to be 
stronger and to live longer than a child 
of healthy parents living under unhygienic 



surroundings, so vicious tendencies or de- 
fects in children and adults may be over- 
come under proper stimuli and environ- 
ment, and they may become more useful 
social beings than children born without 
any moral taint but living under vicious 

Only with vice or defects which are the 
result of feeblemindedness, of defective 
mentality, we can do little or nothing. 


Chapter XIV 


WE cannot well discuss the sub- 
ject of eugenics without mak- 
ing some reference to neo- 
malthusianism or the voluntary and ra- 
tional limitation of off spring. I am not 
going to point out here — because I have 
done so elsewhere — the incalculable bene- 
fits to the individual and the race of a 
knowledge of the proper means of pre- 
venting conception, except to repeat for 
the thousandth time that of all eugenic 
measures this is the most important, is 
probably more important than all other 
eugenic measures combined. I wish, how- 
ever, to answer briefly some objections 
which the orthodox eugenists have been 




making against our "small family" propa- 

They say that our propaganda has been 
having a distinctly anti-eugenic influence, 
that it has been working anti-selectively, 
that it has been decreasing the number of 
desirable types and increasing the num- 
ber of undesirables. For, they say, the 
cultured, the educated, the well-to-do — 
just those who should have and could af- 
ford to have many children — have been 
utilizing the knowledge of the prevention 
of conception and have reduced the num- 
ber of their children to three, two, one or 
none, while the poor, the paupers, the 
criminal, the feebleminded, the degen- 
erate, the unfit in general, have not uti- 
lized this knowledge and have kept on 
breeding just as much as before. This 
necessarily decreases the proportion of the 
fit and increases the proportion of the un- 
fit. Assuming this to be the case, who is 
to blame? It is difficult for me to refrain 
from using unparliamentary language 



when I think of it, when I think that the 
very cultured, well-to-do and professional 
classes, the statesmen and so-called states- 
men, lawyers, clergymen, physicians, busi- 
nessmen, etc., etc., who in their own cases 
make very positive, very regular use of 
the knowledge of the means of preventing 
conception, limiting the number of their 
children to two or three, set up a howl at 
the very first intimation that anybody 
makes that the people at large should be 
given the knowledge. 

The few pioneers who have clearly per- 
ceived the knowledge of the rational lim- 
itation of offspring a measure of supreme 
importance to the human race, being in 
itself superior to any other single measure 
advocated either by the socialists or the 
eugenists — recognizing that it alone would 
deplete the overcrowded labor market, 
would do away to a great extent with abor- 
tion, with prostitution and its concomi- 
tant, venereal disease, would obviate or 
reduce to a minimum the birth of the im- 



becile, insane, epileptics, syphilitics and 
physically deformed — have been jeered 
at, anathematized, ostracized, fined, 
threatened with imprisonment and im- 
prisoned, whenever they made the slight- 
est attempt to enlighten the people at 
large. So it is not the fault of the neo- 
malthusians that only a part of the people 
is using the knowledge. It is the fault of 
those, who least have the right to criti- 
cize, that the people who need the knowl- 
edge most cannot obtain it. 

And what are you going to do about it, 
i. e., about the diminution of the fit and 
increase of the unfit ? All your preaching, 
all your philippics will not induce the high- 
er or better classes (using these terms in 
their ordinary acceptation) to have more 
children. Those who have once acquired 
the knowledge will not part with it. The 
professional and well-to-do classes will not 
sacrifice their own and their children's 
comfort for the alleged benefit of the race 
and will not commence to breed bound- 



lessly in order that their fit children may 
excel in numbers and crowd out the unfit. 
So the only thing to do now is to give that 
knowledge to the people at large. This 
even the dullest-witted conservative must 
begin to see. 

As to the charge often made by those 
very dull-witted respectable classes that 
the common people will not make use of 
this knowledge even if they had it, that 
they are too ignorant, too lazy, too shift- 
less, too devoid of any responsibility, I can 
only say that I consider such charge a 
groundless, baseless falsehood. Leaving 
out of consideration the really feeble- 
minded and the degenerate (who should 
not be permitted to have any children by 
the State, either by means of segregation 
or sterilization), the people at large, the 
wage-slaves, the clerks, the small business 
men, all are extremely eager, painfully, 
pathetically eager, to obtain that knowl- 
edge. There is no single piece of knowl- 
edge that the wives and husbands of the 


poor classes are so anxious to acquire as 
the knowledge of regulating conception. 
So then, if the neo-malthusian propagan- 
da has been acting to a certain extent anti- 
selectively, it is not the fault of the neo- 
malthusians, but of those dull-witted re- 
actionaries who have prevented us from 
imparting this precious knowledge to the 
people at large. 

To the charge that the neo-malthusians 
pay attention only to diminished quantity, 
caring little for the quality of offspring, I 
will also answer briefly and emphatically 
that it is untrue. We simply say that in 
a country that is overpopulated, which has 
an excessive birthrate and an excessive 
deathrate, where there is not room enough 
for either fit or unfit, the first thing to do 
is to diminish the quantity of the popula- 
tion. When the quantity has been re- 
duced to the proper level, we can begin 
to think of quality. As our good friend, 
that most-excellent and indefatigable neo- 
malthusian, Dr. C. V. Drysdale says, you 



cannot expect to raise beautiful roses in a 
field choked with weeds. And speaking 
for myself at least, I know that my advo- 
cacy of the limitation of offspring has been 
influenced as much by a consideration of 
the welfare of the mother and father as of 
the quality of the children. 

Another objection of the orthodox eu- 
genists to the limitation of offspring 
propaganda may be referred to. The bio- 
metric eugenists claim to have demon- 
strated that the first and second child are 
inferior physically and mentally to the 
subsequent children, and that if we advise 
people to limit the number of children to 
one or two or even three, it necessarily fol- 
lows that eventually the racial standard 
will be lowered. Whether this is really an 
established fact or not, I do not know. I 
have my doubts. Many so-called scien- 
tifically established facts prove to be no 
facts at all when examined more closely. 
But if it should be found to be a fact the 
reason for it can easily be found in a num- 


ber of circumstances which can be readily 
remedied. One of the principal causes is 
undoubtedly the youth of the parents. 
Children of parents who have reached their 
full maturity, say twenty-five to thirty, 
are apt to be stronger and bigger than 
children of parents of eighteen to twenty. 
But the remedy for this is easily found: 
let the parents abstain from having chil- 
dren until they have reached the proper 
age. They need not abstain from marry- 
ing, but parenthood may be delayed to the 
physiologically proper age. There is no 
reason why boys and girls of twenty-two 
should not marry, but there is no reason 
why they should not delay having chil- 
dren for three or five years. Other cir- 
cumstances responsible for the alleged in- 
feriority of the first child — I say alleged 
because I am not at all sure that that in- 
feriority is an established fact 1 — would 

*This is not a fact. I have collected interesting 
data, which show the falseness of those assertions. 
They will soon be published in an article under the 
title: The Alleged Inferiority of the First-Born. 



probably be found in the ignorance and 
inexperience of the mother. Naturally 
she does not know how to go about bring- 
ing up the first child as well as she does 
the subsequent children. But this certainly 
can be remedied by imparting to the 
mother the proper instruction. Every 
mother should be instructed in the duties 
and affairs of the important business of 


Chapter XV 

WE of the medical profession 
are accused by the Darwinians 
that we go counter to the law 
of natural selection. That by our medical 
and surgical discoveries, by our greater 
skill in saving the weak and deformed, we 
are weakening the race. In former cen- 
turies the law of natural selection had full 
sway. Those born with weak constitu- 
tions or with certain malformations were 
carried off by disease; they were either 
pretty sure to die at an early age from 
the diseases of childhood, or they were 
carried off later in the struggle for exist- 
ence. Thus the grim law of nature, of 
the survival of the fittest, eliminated the 
weaklings, and the racial stock became 
gradually improved. 



The Darwinian eugenists who make this 
charge are both right and wrong. It is 
distinctly true that by our greater knowl- 
edge and skill we are preserving to life 
and to perpetuation many undesirables, 
from a physical point of view, who in 
former ages would have died early before 
they could have transmitted their defect 
or deformity to future generations. 

Let me give just an example or two. 
In former ages a woman with a deformed, 
rachitic pelvis, not sufficiently spacious to 
permit the passage of a child normally, 
generally died in her first labor, and the 
child died with her and that was the end 
of the matter. Nature thus cruelly but 
kindly — cruelly for the individual but 
kindly for the race — eliminated an unde- 
sirable sickly factor. Now conditions are 
changed. The woman with a deformed 
rachitic pelvis is delivered by Cesarean 
section and both she and the child are pre- 
served to the race for future reproduction, 
and not only once is she delivered by 



Cesarean section, but two, three, four and 
five times. And the foolish members of 
our profession are proud when they come 
across a case upon whom they performed 
several consecutive Cesarean sections. In- 
stead of ligating the Fallopian tubes after 
the first or second operation, so as to pre- 
vent that woman from reproducing again, 
they take pride in preserving her genera- 
tive function, and it is with gusto that they 
report at the medical societies cases of 
women whom they delivered of several 
children by abdominal section. Now the 
result of such medical philanthropy is 
certainly pernicious to the race, for the 
daughters of such a mother are apt to 
inherit the same deformity and are subject 
to the same trouble. 

This is true of many other defects, and 
from this point of view the Darwinian eu- 
genists are perfectly right that medical 
science with its improved methods of diag- 
nosis and treatment, and philanthropy 
with its hospitals and sanitaria, have been 



acting not for but against the welfare of 
the race. But the question is not so sim- 
ple and it is here where the eugenists are 
wrong. In discussing animals all we have 
to deal with is the physical part of the 
animal. A healthy animal is good for that 
species of animal, an unhealthy animal is 
bad. A human being, however, may be 
very undesirable for the race in one respect 
and very desirable in another. For in- 
stance, from a purely physical point of 
view, John Stuart Mill was an undesirable 
specimen. He was weak, anemic and tu- 
bercular. From the strictly Darwinian 
eugenic standpoint he should have been 
eliminated. Would you have been will- 
ing to eliminate him? Or would you not 
rather agree that feeble and tubercular as 
he was, he was of more benefit to humanity 
than ten thousand of our healthy, so-called 
magnificent specimens of manhood? 
Should Carlyle have been eliminated, with 
his dyspepsia, chronic grouch, and other 
defects? And Darwin himself, I fear 



me, in former ages would have quickly 
succumbed to the struggle for existence. 
He was very weak, and only by the great- 
est care and the beautiful devotion of his 
wife was he enabled to live to such an old 
age, to the incalculable benefit of mankind. 
In short, whenever we come to discuss 
eugenics in relation to the human race, we 
are at once confronted by the fact, which 
you may consider fortunate or unfor- 
tunate according to your standpoint, that 
a healthy or original brain does not neces- 
sarily go with a healthy body. Not only 
is a healthy body no guarantee of a good 
brain, but quite the contrary is often the 
case. I could fill pages enumerating ex- 
amples of magnificent brains and indom- 
itable energy, courage and self-sacrificing 
altruism residing in frail, weak, deformed 
bodies, but the readers themselves are un- 
doubtedly familiar with them. It is suffi- 
cient to state, that from my studies I have 
come to the conclusion that very healthy 
animal functions are very often antago- 



nistic to a fine creative brain. A person 
who is very "normal" physically is apt to 
be very dull and commonplace mentally, 
and if you go thru the biographies of all 
those men and women whose work in the 
world counts for most, you will find a very 
large percentage of them to have been 
physically unfit, from a strictly eugenic 
standpoint. So what are we going to do 
about it? 

The eugenists, I repeat, that is, some 
of them, fail to bear in mind that in con- 
sidering human beings we have two dis- 
tinct factors to deal with, and that in sav- 
ing a puny body we sometimes save a 
great soul and a wonderful brain. 

But there ought not to be any antago- 
nism between the eugenists and the medi- 
cal profession. I believe they can work 
hand in hand, not only peacefully but 
more effectively. The altruism and the 
philanthropy which some eugenists may, 
perhaps with right, call misguided, which 
have developed in the human race in the 


course of centuries cannot be stopped. No 
eugenic considerations will induce us to 
adopt Spartan-like methods and to neg- 
lect or kill off the weak and puny, but we 
can come to an agreement on the subject. 
Every child that is born, puny and weakly 
tho it may be, is entitled to the very best 
of care, to the very best chance for sur- 
vival, to the highest and best that medical 
science and philanthropy may offer. That 
much the child has a right to expect from 
society, but the right to reproduction is 
not a right that it can demand from so- 
ciety if such reproduction is considered 
injurious to the race. In short, we will 
do the very best that can be done for all 
those that are with us, but we will also do 
our very best to prevent the bringing 
forth of undesirable specimens. And on 
this ground medical science and eugenics 
can meet and work hand in hand. 


Chapter XVI 

IF I were asked to answer categori- 
cally in one sentence which I con- 
sider of more importance to the in- 
dividual and the race, heredity or envi- 
ronment, I would say : Excepting the con- 
ditions of feeblemindedness, insanity, 
epilepsy, syphilis, a few strongly heredi- 
tary physical diseases such as hemophilia, 
and certain sexual perversions, environ- 
ment is more important than heredity. 

By proper environment, under a just 
and sane social system, it will be possible 
to overcome most of the results of bad 
heredity. It is therefore our duty, while 
not opposing or neglecting any eugenic 
measure, such as demanding a health cer- 
tificate before marriage, segregation and 


sterilization of the feebleminded, insane, 
and brutally criminal, to work all to- 
gether unremittingly for the change of 
our social and economic conditions, for the 
advent of the cooperative commonwealth, 
for the improvement of the environment. 




f ,_ 

Chapter XVII 


IN former years nobody thought of 
asking a physician for permission to 
get married. He was not consulted 
in the matter at all. The parents would 
investigate the young man's social stand- 
ing, his ability to make a living, his habits, 
perhaps, whether he was a drinking man 
or not, but to ask the physician's expert 
advice — why, as said, nobody thought of 
it. And how much sorrow and unhappi- 
ness, how many tragedies the doctor could 
have averted, if he had been asked in time ! 
Fortunately, in the last few years a great 
change has taken place in this respect. It 
is now a very common occurrence for the 
intelligent layman and laywoman, im- 



bued with a sense of responsibility for the 
welfare of their presumptive future off- 
spring and actuated, perhaps, also by 
some fear of infection, to consult a physi- 
cian as to the advisability of the marriage, 
and to abide by that decision. 

As a matter of fact, as often is the case, 
the pendulum now is in danger of swing- 
ing to the other extreme; for, a little 
knowledge is a dangerous thing, and the 
tendency of the layman is to exaggerate 
matters and to take things in an absolute 
instead of a relative manner. As a re- 
sult, many laymen and laywomen nowa- 
days insist upon a thoro examination of 
their own person and the person of their 
future partner, when there is nothing the 
matter with either. Still, this is a minor 
evil, and it is better to be too careful than 
not careful enough. 

I am frequently consulted as to the ad- 
visability or nonadvisability of a certain 
marriage taking place. I, therefore, 
thought it desirable to discuss in one essay 



the various factors, physical and mental, 
personal and ancestral, likely to exert an 
influence upon the marital partner and on 
the expected offspring, and to state as 
briefly as possible and so far as our pres- 
ent state of knowledge permits which fac- 
tors may be considered eugenic, or favor- 
able to the offspring, and dysgenic, or un- 
favorable to the offspring. 

The questions concerning the advis- 
ability of marriage which the layman as 
well as the physician has most often to 
deal with are questions concerning vene- 
real disease. On account of the impor- 
tance of the subject, these will be discussed 
rather in detail under the headings "Gon- 
orrhea and Marriage" and "Syphilis and 
Marriage." Other factors affecting mar- 
riage, either in the eugenic or dysgenic 
sense, will be discussed more briefly in 
separate chapters. 


Chapter XVIII 

FOR a man or a woman who has 
once suffered from gonorrhea or 
syphilis to enter matrimony with- 
out having secured a competent physi- 
cian's opinion is a great responsibility. 
And a great responsibility rests upon the 
shoulders of the physician who is called 
upon to give such an opinion. For a 
wrong decision — a wrong decision either 
way — that is, permission to marry when 
permission should not have been granted 
or refusal to give permission when permis- 
sion should have been granted — may be 
responsible for much future unhappiness 
and much disease: disease of the mother 
and of the offspring. It may even be re- 
sponsible for death. 



There is no easy, short road to a posi- 
tive opinion. It requires a thoro, pains- 
taking examination at the hands of an ex- 
perienced physician, one thoroly familiar 
with all the modern tests, to tell whether 
it is safe for a man who once suffered from 
venereal disease to enter the bonds of mat- 
rimony. Sometimes one examination is 
not sufficient, and several examinations 
may be necessary; but, the opinion of a 
conscientious, experienced physician may 
be relied upon, and, if all men and women 
who once suffered from venereal disease 
would seek for, and be guided by, such an 
opinion, there would be no cases of marital 
infection, there would be no children af- 
flicted with gonorrheal ophthalmia, there 
would be no cases of hereditary syphilis. 

When May a Man Who Had Gon- 
orrhea Get Married? For a man who 
once suffered from gonorrhea to be pro- 
nounced cured and a safe candidate for 


marriage, the following conditions must 
be present: 

1. There must be no discharge. 

2. The urine must be perfectly clear 
and free from shreds. 

3. The secretion from the prostate 
gland, as obtained by prostatic massage, 
and from the seminal vesicles, as obtained 
by "milking," or "stripping," the vesicles, 
must be free from pus and gonococci. To 
make sure, it is best to repeat such ex- 
amination at three different times. 

4. There must be neither stricture nor 
patches in the urethra. 

5. What we call the complement-fixa- 
tion test, which is a blood test for gonor- 
rhea similar to the Wassermann blood- 
test for syphilis, must be negative. 

Referring to conditions 1 and 2, it some- 
times happens that the patient has a mi- 
nute amount of discharge or a few shreds 
in the urine, and I still permit him to 
marry; but this is done only after the dis- 
charge and shreds have been repeatedly 



examined and have been found to be 
catarrhal in character and absolutely free 
from any gonococci or other germs. 

It sometimes happens that a patient 
comes for an examination a few days be- 
fore the date set for the wedding. I ex- 
amine him and find that he is not in a safe 
condition to marry, and so advise him to 
delay the wedding. Sometimes he follows 
the advice, but in some cases he is unable 
to do so. He claims the wedding has been 
arranged, the invitation-cards have been 
sent out, and to delay the wedding would 
lead to endless trouble and perhaps scan- 
dal. In such cases I, of course, assume no 
responsibility; however, I do advise the 
man to use an antiseptic suppository or 
some other method that will protect the 
bride from infection for the time being, 
while he, the husband, has an opportunity 
to take treatment until cured. Of the 
many cases in which I advised this method, 
I do not know of one in which infection 
has taken place. 



When May a Woman Who Once 
Had Gonorrhea be Permitted to Mar- 
ry? In the case of a woman, the decision 
may be harder to reach than in that of a 
man. Of course, the urine must be clear 
and the urethra must be normal; however, 
we cannot insist that there must be no 
discharge, because practically every wo- 
man has some slight discharge; if not all 
the time, at least immediately prior and 
subsequent to menstruation. Of course, 
the discharge must be free from gonococci 
and pus. Also the complement-fixation 
tests must be negative. 

At best, it is a delicate problem, so that 
whenever there is the least suspicion that 
the woman may harbor gonococci I always 
advise (as is my custom, to be on the safe 
side) the woman to use either an antisep- 
tic suppository or an antiseptic douche 
before coitus. With these precautions 
adopted, I have never had an accident 



The Question of Probable Steril- 
ity. Thus far I have considered the prob- 
lem of marriage from the standpoint of 
infectivity. But, we know that, besides 
the effect on the individual, gonorrhea has 
also a far-reaching influence on the race; 
in other words, that it is prone to make 
the subjects — both men and women — 
sterile. And a candidate for marriage 
may, and often does, want to know wheth- 
er, besides being non-infective, he or she 
also is capable of begetting or having chil- 

In the case of man, the problem is, for- 
tunately, a very simple one. We can 
easily obtain a specimen of the man's 
semen and determine, by means of the 
microscope, whether it contains sperma- 
tozoa or not. If it does contain a normal 
number of lively, rapidly moving sperma- 
tozoa, the man is fertile. If the semen 
contains no spermatozoa, or only a few de- 
formed or lazily moving ones, then he is 



In the case of woman, it is absolutely 
impossible to determine whether the gon- 
orrhea has made her sterile or not ; because 
there is no way of squeezing out an ovum 
from the ovary. The woman may not 
have had any pain or inflammation in the 
Fallopian tubes, and yet there may have 
been sufficient inflammation to close up 
the orifices of the tubes. On the other 
hand, she may have had a severe salpin- 
gitis on both sides and still be fertile. Nor 
is there any way of telling whether the 
ovaries were so involved in the process as 
to become incapable of generating healthy 
ova, or any ova at all. In short, there is 
absolutely no way of telling whether a 
woman is sterile or fertile — we can only 
surmise. And our surmise in this respect 
is liable to be wrong just as often as right. 
The only way the question can be decided 
is by experience. If the prospective hus- 
band is willing to take a chance, well and 


Chapter XIX 

THE problem of the syphilitic dif- 
fers from the problem of the ex- 
gonorrheal patient. When a 
gonorrheal patient is cured, so far as infec- 
tivity is concerned, and is not sterile, there 
is no apprehension as to the offspring. 
Gonorrhea is not hereditary, and the child 
of a gonorrheal patient does not differ 
from the child of a non-gonorrheal per- 
son. In the case of syphilis, it is different. 
The patient may be safe so far as infect- 
ing the partner is concerned, but yet there 
may be danger for the offspring. 

The rules for permitting a man or a 
woman who once had syphilis to marry 
are, therefore, different from those ap- 
plied to the gonorrheal patient. Here 
are the rules: 



1. I would make it an invariable rule 
that no syphilitic patient should marry or 
should be permitted to marry before five 
years have elapsed from the day of in- 
fection. But the period of time alone is 
not sufficient; other conditions must be 
met before we may give a syphilitic 
patient permission to marry. 

2. The man or the woman must have 
received thoro systematic treatment for at 
least three years, either constantly or off 
and on, according to the physician's judg- 

3. For at least one year before the in- 
tended marriage, the person must have 
been absolutely free from any manifesta- 
tions of syphilis ; that is, from any erup- 
tions on the skin, from any mucous 
patches, swelling in the bones, ulcerations, 
and so on. 

4. Four Wassermann tests, taken at 
intervals of three months and at a time 
when the patient was receiving no anti- 



syphilitic treatment must be absolutely 

If these four conditions are fully met, 
then the patient may be permitted to 

It is important, however, to state that, 
in permitting or refusing syphilitic per- 
sons to marry, we are guided to a great 
extent by the fact as to whether they ex- 
pect to have children soon or not. 

In the case of a couple who are anxious 
to have children soon after their mar- 
riage, the conditions for our permission 
must be more severe than when the couple 
are willing or anxious to use contraceptive 
measures for the first years of their mar- 
ried life. For, if a man is free from any 
skin lesions and from any mucous patches, 
his wife is safe from infection as long as 
she does not become pregnant. But, if 
she does get pregnant, she may become 
infected through the fetus ; and, of course, 
the child also is liable to be syphilitic. 
Hence, much stricter requirements for 



syphilitics who expect to become parents 
are necessary than for those who do not. 

In case both the man and the woman 
are or have been syphilitic, permission to 
marry may be granted without hesitation, 
as the danger of infection is absent, but 
permission to have children must be re- 
fused absolutely and unequivocally. Re- 
gardless of the time that may have elapsed 
from the period of infection, regardless 
of treatment, regardless of Wassermann 
tests, the danger to the child is too great 
if both parents have the syphilitic taint 
in them. A healthy child may be born 
from two syphilitic parents who have un- 
dergone energetic treatment, but we have 
no right to take the chance. I, at least, 
never wanted to, nor ever will want to, 
take such a responsibility. 


Chapter XX 


HAVING considered gonorrhea 
and syphilis, the two most im- 
portant factors in candidates 
for marriage, we will proceed to examine 
other diseases and disorders, in their re- 
lation to the marital partner and the off- 

Tuberculosis, which carries off such a 
large part of humanity every year, is 
caused by the well-known bacillus tubercu- 
losis, discovered by Koch. The germ is 
generally inhaled thru the respiratory 
tract, and most frequently settles in the 
lungs, giving rise to what is known as pul- 
monary consumption. However, many 
other organs and tissues may be affected 
by tuberculosis. 



Tuberculosis used to be considered the 
hereditary disease par excellence. Entire 
families were carried off by it, and, seeing 
a tuberculous father or mother and then 
tuberculous children, it was assumed that 
the infection had been transmitted to the 
children by heredity. As a matter of fact, 
the disease was spread by infection. In 
former years little care was exercised 
about destroying the sputum ; the patients 
would spit indiscriminately on the floor, 
and, the sputum drying up, would be 
mixed with the dust and inhaled. Often 
the children crawling on the floor would 
introduce the infective material directly, 
by putting their little fingers in their 

It is now known that tuberculosis is not 
a hereditary disease, that is, that the germs 
are not transmitted by heredity. The 
weak constitution, however, which favors 
the development of tuberculosis, may be 
inherited. And children of tuberculous 
parents, therefore, must not only be 



guarded against infection, but must be 
brought up with special care, so as to 
strengthen their resistance and overcome 
the weakened constitution which they in- 

That a person with an active tubercu- 
lous lesion should not get married goes 
without saying. But, it is a good rule to 
follow for a tuberculous person not to 
marry for two or three years after all tu- 
berculous lesions have been declared 
healed by a competent physician. As a 
rule, a tuberculous patient is a poor pro- 
vider, and that also counts in the advice 
against marriage. Then sexual inter- 
course has, as a rule, a strong influence on 
the development of the disease. Unfor- 
tunately the sexual appetite of tubercu- 
lous patients is not diminished, but, rather, 
very frequently heightened ; and frequent 
sexual relations weaken them and hasten 
the progress of the disease. 

As to pregnancy, that has an extremely 
pernicious effect on the course of tuber- 


culosis, and no tuberculous woman should 
ever marry. If such a one does marry or 
if the disease develops after her marriage, 
means should be given her to prevent her 
from having children. During the preg- 
nancy, the disease may not seem to be 
making any progress — occasionally the 
patient ntay even seem to improve — but 
after childbirth the disease makes very 
rapid strides and the patient may quickly 
succumb. In the early days of my prac- 
tice I saw a number of such cases. If pre- 
cautions are taken against pregnancy, 
then permission to indulge in sexual rela- 
tions may be given, provided it is done 
rarely and moderately. 

If a patient who has tuberculosis con- 
ceals the fact from the future partner, a 
fraud is committed, and the marriage is 
morally annulable. It has been declared 
legally annulable by a recent decision of a 
New York judge. 



Heart Disease 

Heart disease also is no longer consid- 
ered hereditary. Nevertheless, heart dis- 
ease, if at all serious, is a contraindication 
to marriage. First, because the patient's 
life may be cut off at any time. Second, 
sexual intercourse is injurious for people 
having heart disease ; it may aggravate the 
disease or even cause sudden death. It is 
more injurious even than it is in tuber- 
culosis. Third — and this concerns the wo- 
man only — pregnancy has a very detri- 
mental effect upon a diseased heart. A 
heart that, with proper care, might be able 
to do its work for years, often is suddenly 
snapped by the extra work put upon it by 
pregnancy and childbirth. Sometimes a 
woman with a diseased heart will keep up 
to the last minute of the delivery of the 
child and then suddenly will gasp and ex- 
pire. In the first year of my practice I 
saw such a case, and I never have wanted 
to see another. Women suffering from 


heart disease of any serious character 
should not, under any circumstances, be 
permitted to become pregnant. 


No man will knowingly marry a woman, 
and no woman will marry a man, afflicted 
with cancer. However, this question often 
comes up in cases where the matrimonial 
candidates are free from cancer, but where 
there has been cancer in the family. 

Cancer is not a hereditary disease, con- 
trary to the opinions that have prevailed, 
and, if the matrimonial candidate is other- 
wise healthy, no hesitation need be felt on 
the score of heredity. The fear of heredi- 
tary transmission of the disease has caused 
a great deal of mischief and unnecessary 
anxiety to people. Scientifically conduct- 
ed investigations and carefully prepared 
statistics have shown that many diseases 
formerly considered hereditary are not 
hereditary in the least degree. 


Should it, however, be shown that in one 
family there were many members who died 
of cancer, it would indicate that there is 
some disease or dyscrasia in that family, 
and the contracting of a marriage with any 
member of that family would be inadvis- 


Chapter XXI 


EXOPHTHALMIC goiter is a 
disease characterized by enlarge- 
ment of the thyroid gland, protru- 
sion of the eyeballs, and rapid beating of 
the heart. The disease is confined almost 
entirely, though not exclusively, to women, 
and I should not advise any exophthalmic 
woman to marry; neither should I advise 
a man to marry an exophthalmic goiter 
woman. It is a very annoying disease, 
while sexual intercourse aggravates all the 
symptoms, particularly the palpitation of 
the heart. The children, if not affected by 
exophthalmic goiter, are liable to be very 

Simple goiter, that is, enlargement of 



the thyroid gland (chiefly occurring in 
certain high mountainous localities, such 
as Switzerland), is not so strongly 
dysgenic as is exophthalmic goiter. Still, 
goiter patients are not good matrimonial 

Of course, there are always exceptions. 
I know an exophthalmic goiter woman 
who brought up four children, and very 
good, healthy children they are. But in 
writing we can only speak of the average 
and not of exceptions. 


Obesity, or excessive stoutness, is an un- 
due development of fat thruout the body. 
That it is hereditary, that it runs in fam- 
ilies, there is no question whatsoever. And 
while with great care as to the diet and 
by proper exercise, obesity may, as a rule, 
be avoided in those predisposed, it none- 
theless will often develop in spite of all 
measures taken against it. Some very 


obese people eat only one-half or less of 
what many thin people do; but in the 
former, everything seems to run to fat. 

Obesity must be considered a dysgenic 
factor. The obese are subject to heart 
disease, asthma, apoplexy, gallstones, 
gout, diabetes, constipation; they with- 
stand pneumonia and acute infectious dis- 
eases poorly, and they are bad risks when 
they have to undergo major surgical 
operations. They also, as a rule, are 
readily fatigued by physical and mental 
work. (As to the latter, there are remark- 
able exceptions. Some very obese people 
can turn out a great amount of work, 
and are almost indefatigable in their con- 
stant activity.) Each case should be con- 
sidered individually, and with reference 
to the respective family history. If the 
obese person comes from a healthy, long- 
lived family and shows no circulatory dis- 
turbances, no strong objections can be 
raised to him or to her. But, as a gen- 
eral proposition, it must be laid down that 


obesity is a dysgenic factor, but bear in 
mind that obesity and stoutness are not 
synonymous terms. 


Arteriosclerosis means hardening of the 
arteries. All men over fifty are beginning 
to develop some degree of arteriosclerosis ; 
but, if the process is very gradual, it may 
be considered normal and is not a danger 
to life; when, however, it develops rap- 
idly and the blood pressure is of a high 
degree, there is danger of apoplexy. Con- 
sequently, arteriosclerosis and high blood 
pressure must be considered decided bars 
to marriage. 

It must be borne in mind that the sexual 
act is, in itself, a danger to arteriosclerotics 
and people with high blood pressure, be- 
cause it may bring about rupture of a 
blood-vessel. There are many cases of 
sudden death from this cause of which the 
public naturally never learns. Married 


persons who find that they have arteri- 
osclerosis or high blood pressure should 
abstain from sexual relations altogether 
or indulge only at rare intervals and 


A consideration of gout in connection 
with the question of heredity will show 
how near-sighted people can be, how they 
can go on believing a certain thing for cen- 
turies without any critical analysis, until 
somebody suddenly shows them the ab- 
surdity of the thing. Gout was always 
considered a typical hereditary disease; 
for it was seen in the grandfathers, fathers, 
children, grandchildren, and so on. So, 
certainly, it must be hereditary! It did 
not come to our doctors' minds to think 
that perhaps, after all, it was not heredity 
that was to blame, but simply that the 
same conditions that produced gout in the 
ancestors likewise produced it in their de- 



We know now that gout is caused by 
excessive eating, excessive drinking, lack 
of exercise, and faulty elimination. And 
since, as a general thing, children lead the 
same lives that their fathers did, they are 
likely to develop the same diseases as their 
fathers did. A poor man who leads an 
abstemious life doesn't develop gout, and 
if his children lead the same abstemious 
lives they do not develop gout. (There 
are some cases of gout among the poor, 
but they are very rare.) But if they 
should begin to gorge and live an im- 
proper life they would be prone to develop 
the disease. 

The disease, therefore, cannot in any 
way be considered hereditary. In matri- 
mony, gout in either of the couple is not 
a desirable quality, but it is not a bar to 
marriage; and, if the candidate individu- 
ally is healthy and free from gout, the fact 
that there was gout in the ancestry should 
play no role. 


Chapter XXII 

MUMPS is the common name 
for what is technically called 
parotitis (or parotiditis). Paro- 
titis is an inflammation of the parotid 
glands. The parotid glands are situated, 
one on each side, immediately in front and 
below the external ear, and they are be- 
tween one-half and one ounce in weight. 
They belong to the salivary glands; that 
is, they manufacture saliva, and each 
parotid gland has a duct thru which it 
pours the saliva into the mouth. These 
ducts open opposite the second upper 
molar teeth. 

We might be surprised to be told that 

these parotid glands can have anything 

to do with the sex organs, but there is no 

other remote organ that has such a close 



and rather mysterious relationship with 
the sex-glands as have the parotids. When 
the parotid glands, either one or both, are 
inflamed, the testicles or ovaries are also 
liable to be attacked by inflammation. 
The inflammation of the testicles may be 
so severe as to cause them to shrivel up; 
or, even when no shrivelling of the tes- 
ticles occurs, they may be so affected as 
to become incapable of producing sper- 
matozoa. Moreover, in cases where the 
testicles of a mumps patient seemingly 
were not attacked — that is, where the pa- 
tient was not aware of any inflammation, 
having no pain and no other symptoms 
— the testicles may have become incapable 
of generating spermatozoa. 

It is, therefore, a very common thing 
for men who had the mumps in their child- 
hood to be found sterile. 

As to the sexual power of mumps pa- 
tients, that differs. Some patients lose 
their virility entirely; others remain 
potent, but become sterile. 


The same things happens to girls at- 
tacked by mumps. They may have a 
severe inflammation of the ovaries or the 
inflammation may be so mild as to escape 
notice. In either case the girl when grown 
to womanhood may find herself sterile. 

A man who never had any venereal 
disease, but who has had mumps, should 
have himself examined for sterility before 
he gets married. As explained in the 
chapter "Marriage and Gonorrhea," we 
can, in the case of a man, easily find out 
whether he is fertile or sterile. Rut, in 
the case of a woman, we can not. Time 
necessarily, has to answer that question. 
In all cases, mumps reduces the chances 
of fertility, and no man or woman who 
once had mumps should get married with- 
out informing the respective partner of 
the fact. There should be no concealment 
before marriage. When the partners to 
the marriage contract know of the facts, 
they can then decide as to whether or not 
the marriage is desirable to them. 


Hemophilia, or Bleeders' Disease 

Hemophilia is a peculiar disease, con- 
sisting in frequent and often uncontrol- 
lable hemorrhages. The least cut or the 
pulling of a tooth may cause a severe or 
even dangerous hemorrhage. The slight- 
est blow, squeeze or hurt will cause dis- 
colorations of the skin. The peculiarity 
of this hereditary disease is, that it at- 
tacks almost exclusively the males, but is 
transmitted almost exclusively thru the 
female members. For instance, Miss A., 
herself not a bleeder, comes from a 
bleeder- family. She marries and has three 
boys and three girls; the three boys will 
be bleeders, the three girls will not; the 
three boys marry and have children ; their 
children will not be bleeders; the three 
girls marry, and their male children will 
be bleeders. 

What is the lesson? The lesson is, that 
boys who are bleeders may marry, because 
they will most likely not transmit the dis- 


ease; but girls who come from a hemo- 
philic family, irrespective of whether they 
themselves are hemophilics or not, must 
not marry, because most likely they will 
transmit the disease. 


Anemia is a poor condition of the blood. 
The blood may contain an insufficient 
number of red blood cells or an insufficient 
percentage of the coloring matter of the 
blood, that is, hemoglobin. A special kind 
of anemia affecting young girls is called 

Anemia and chlorosis cannot be con- 
sidered contraindications to marriage, be- 
cause they usually respond to treatment. 
In fact, some cases of anemia and chlorosis 
are due to the lack of normal sexual rela- 
tions, and the subjects get well very soon 
after marriage. But it is best and safest 
to subject anemic patients to a course of 
treatment and to improve their condition 
before they marry. 

Chapter XXIII 


A GOOD deal depends upon what 
we understand by alcoholism. 
The fanatics consider a person 
an alcoholic who drinks a glass of beer 
or wine with his meals. This is non- 
sense. This is not alcoholism, and can- 
not be considered a dysgenic factor. But, 
where there is a distinct habit, so that the 
individual must have his alcohol daily, or 
if he goes on an occasional "spree," mar- 
riage must be advised against. And 
where the man (or woman) is what we 
call a real drunkard, marriage not only 
should be advised against, but most de- 
cidedly should be prohibited by law. 

Alcoholism, as a habit, is one of the 
worst dysgenic factors to reckon with. 


First, the offspring is liable to be af- 
fected, which is sufficient in itself to con- 
demn marriage with an alcoholic. Sec- 
ond, the earning powers of an alcoholic 
are generally diminished, and are likely 
gradually to diminish more and more. 
Third, an alcoholic is irritable, quarrel- 
some, and is liable to do bodily injury 
to his wife. Fourth, an alcoholic often 
develops sexual weakness or complete sex- 
ual impotence. Fifth, alcoholics are likely 
to develop extreme jealousy, which may 
become pathological, even to the extent 
of a psychosis. 

If both the husband and wife are alco- 
holics, then marriage between them which 
results in children is a eugenic and social 

We do not now come across cases so 
often as we used to of women marrying 
drunkards in the hope of reforming them. 
But such cases still happen. This is a 
very foolish procedure. Let the man re- 
form first, let him stay reformed for two 


or three years, and then the woman may 
take the chance, if she wants to. 


While epilepsy — known commonly as 
fits or falling sickness — is not as heredi- 
tary as it was one time thought to be, its 
hereditary character being ascertainable 
in only about 5 per cent, of cases, never- 
theless, it is a decidedly dysgenic agent, 
and marriage with an epileptic is dis- 
tinctly advised against. Where both par- 
ents are epileptics, the children are almost 
sure to be epileptic, and such a marriage 
should be prohibited by law. Under no 
circumstances should parents who are 
both epileptic bring children into the 
world. It should be the duty of the State 
to instruct them in methods of preventing 


Hysteria is a disease the chief char- 
acteristics of which are a lack of control 



over one's emotions and acts, the imitation 
of the symptoms of various diseases, and 
an exaggerated self-consciousness. The 
patient may have extreme pain in the 
region of the head, ovaries, spine ; in some 
parts of the skin there is extreme hyper- 
sensitiveness, so that the least touch causes 
great pain; in others, there is complete 
anesthesia — that is, absence of sensation 
— so that when you stick the patient with 
a needle she will not feel it. A very fre- 
quent symptom is a choking sensation, as 
if a ball came up the throat and stuck 
there (globus hystericus). Then there 
may be spasms, convulsions, retention of 
urine, paralysis, aphonia (loss of voice), 
blindness, and a lot more. There is 
hardly a functional or organic nervous 
disorder that hysteria may not simulate. 
Of late years our ideas about hysteria 
have undergone a radical change, and we 
now know that most, if not all, cases of 
hysteria are due to a repression of non-sat- 
isfaction of the sexual instinct or to some 


shock of a sexual character in childhood. 
Only too often a girl who was very hys- 
terical before marriage loses her hysteria 
as if by magic upon contracting a satis- 
factory marriage. On the other hand, a 
healthy girl can become quickly hysterical 
if she marries a man who is sexually im- 
potent or who is disagreeable to her and 
incapable of satisfying her sexually. 

While hysteria, in itself, is not heredi- 
tary, it, nevertheless, is a question whether 
a strongly hysterical woman would be a 
satisfactory mother. The entire family 
history should be investigated. If the 
hysteria is found to be an isolated in- 
stance in the given girl, it may be disre- 
garded, if not extreme; but if the entire 
family or several members of it are neuro- 
pathic, the condition is a dysgenic one. 
Marriage may be contracted, provided no 
children are brought into the world until 
several years have elapsed and the 
mother's organization seems to have be- 
come more stable. In some cases a child 


acts as a good medicine against hysteria. 
In short, every case must be examined 
individually on its merits, and the coun- 
sel of a good psychologist or psychoan- 
alyst may prove very valuable. 


Chapter XXIV 


its gradations — including idiocy, 
imbecility, moronism, and so on — 
is strongly hereditary and is the most 
dysgenic factor we have to deal with. It 
is more dysgenic than insanity. Mar- 
riage with a feebleminded person not only 
should be advised against, but should 
be prohibited by law. A feebleminded 
man has much fewer chances for marriage 
than has a feebleminded woman. Feeble- 
minded girls, even to the extent of being 
morons, if pretty (as they often are) have 
very good chances of getting married, not 
infrequently getting for husbands young 
men of good families who while them- 



selves not very strong mentally, are far 
from being considered feebleminded. 

There are many cases of brilliant men 
— more than the public has any idea of — 
who married pretty, shy, demure, but 
withal feebleminded girls, and the result 
has been in the largest percentage of cases 
very disastrous. In many cases all the 
children are feebleminded, or if not feeble- 
minded, so weak mentally that it is im- 
possible to make them go thru any col- 
lege or school. All the private tutoring 
is often in vain. And the brilliant father's 
heart breaks. It must be borne in mind 
that feeblemindedness or weak mentality 
is much more difficult to detect in a 
woman than it is in a man. Weakmind- 
edness in a woman often passes for "cute- 
ness," and as among the conservatives a 
woman is not expected to be able to dis- 
cuss current topics, her intellectual caliber 
is often not discovered by the blinded hus- 
band until some weeks after the marriage 



As any instruction in the use of con- 
traceptives would be wasted on the feeble- 
minded, the only way to guard the race 
against pollution with feebleminded stock 
is either to segregate or to sterilize them. 
Society could have no objection against 
the feebleminded marrying or indulging 
in sexual relations, provided it could be 
assured that they would not bring any 
feebleminded stock into the world. After 
the man and the woman have been ster- 
ilized there is no objection to their getting 

Where a normal, able or brilliant hus- 
band finds out too late that his wife's men- 
tality is of rather a low order he is cer- 
tainly justified in using contraceptives; 
and if he is determined to have children 
he will be obliged to divorce his wife. Of 
course this applies also to the wife of a 
weak minded husband. 




Insanity may be briefly defined as a 
disease of the mind. We have two divi- 
sions of insanity. 

One is functional insanity. This may 
be temporary, or periodical, and is due to 
some external cause, is curable, and is not 
hereditary. For instance, a person may 
get insane from a severe shock, from 
trouble, from anxiety, from a severe acci- 
dent (such as shipwreck), from a sudden 
and total loss of his fortune, of his wife 
and children (by fire, earthquake, ship- 
wreck or railroad accident). Such in- 
sanities are curable and are not trans- 
missible. Another example is what is 
known as puerperal insanity. Some 
women during childbirth, due probably to 
some toxic infection, become insane. 
This insanity may be extreme and mania- 
cal in character. Still, it often passes 
away in a few days without leaving any 
trace and may never return again, or, 



if it does return, it may return only dur- 
ing another childbirth. This kind of in- 
sanity is not transmissible. 

The second division is what we call 
organic insanity. This expresses itself in 
mania and melancholia, so-called manic- 
depressive insanity. This is due to a 
degeneration of the brain- and nerve- 
tissue and is hereditary. 

But our entire conception as to the 
hereditary transmissibility of insanity has 
undergone a radical change. There is 
hardly another disease the fear of whose 
hereditary character is responsible for so 
much anguish and torture. In former 
years, when there was an insane uncle or 
aunt or grandparent in the family, that 
fact weighed like a veritable incubus on 
the entire family. Every member of the 
family was tortured by the secret anguish 
that maybe he or she would be next to be 
affected by this most horrible of all dis- 
eases — disease of the mind. If an ances- 
tral member of the family became insane 




at a certain age, every member of that 
family was living in fear and trembling 
until several years had passed after that 
critical age, and only then would they 
begin to breathe freely. Indeed, many 
people became insane from the very fear 
of becoming insane. It cannot be sub- 
ject to any doubt that many people do 
become mentally unbalanced from the 
fear that they will become unbalanced. 
Fear has a tremendous influence on the 
purely bodily functions, but its influence 
on the mental functions is incomparably 
greater, and a person will often get that 
which he fears he is going to get. 

Now the hereditary character of in- 
sanity is not taken in the same absolute 
sense in which it was formerly. While 
we still consider it a dysgenic factor, yet 
we recognize the paramount importance 
of environment; and we know that by 
proper bringing-up, using the expression 
bringing-up in its broadest sense — in- 
cluding a proper mental and physical dis- 


cipline — any hereditary taint can be 
counteracted, to a certain extent at least. 
Altogether, as will be seen from a dis- 
cussion of the various factors rendering 
marriage permissible or nonpermissible, I 
am inclined to consider environment a 
more important factor than heredity. The 
purely physical characteristics bear the 
indelible impress of heredity. But the 
moral and cultural characteristics, which 
in the modern civilized man are much 
more important than the physical, are al- 
most exclusively the results of environ- 


Chapter XXV 


NEUROSIS is a functional dis- 
ease of the nervous system. 
Neurasthenia is a condition of 
nervous exhaustion, brought about by- 
various causes, such as overwork, worry, 
fright, sexual excesses, sexual abstinence, 
and so on. The basis of neurasthenia, 
however, is often or even generally a 
hereditary taint, a nervous weakness in- 
herited from the parents. 

Psychasthenia is a neurosis or psy- 
choneurosis similar to neurasthenia, char- 
acterized by an exhaustion of the nervous 
system, also by weakness of the will, over- 
scrupulousness, fear, and a feeling of the 
unreality of things. 



Neuropathy is a disease or disorder of 
the nervous system. Psychopathy is a 
disease or disorder of the mind. 

Of late years we often hear people re- 
ferred to as neurotics, neurasthenics, psy- 
chasthenics, neuropaths or psychopaths. 
These are undoubtedly abnormal condi- 
tions, and, taken as a general thing, they 
are dysgenic factors. 

But a dysgenic factor in an animal is a 
dysgenic factor, and that is all there is to 
it. There are no two sides to the question. 
But if anything goes to show the dif- 
ference between animals and human be- 
ings, and to demonstrate why principles 
of eugenics, as derived from a study of 
animals, can never be fully applicable to 
human beings, it is these considerations 
which we now have under discussion. To 
repeat, neuroses, neurasthenia, psy- 
chasthenia, and the various forms of 
neuropathy and psychopathy are dysgenic 
factors. But people suffering from these 
conditions often are among the world's 



greatest geniuses, have done some of the 
world's greatest work, and, if we pre- 
vented or discouraged marriage among 
people who are somewhat "abnormal" or 
"queer," we should deprive the world of 
some of its greatest men and women. For 
insanity is allied to genius, and if we were 
to exterminate all mentally or nervously 
abnormal people we should at the same 
time exterminate some of the men and 
women that have made life worth living. 
And what is true of mentally abnormal 
is also true of physically inferior people. 
An inferior horse or dog is inferior. 
There is no compensation for the inferior- 
ity. But a man may be physically in- 
ferior, he may be, for instance, a con- 
sumptive, but still he may have given to 
the world some of the sweetest and most 
wonderful poems. A man may be lame, 
or deaf, or strabismic, he may be a hunch- 
back or a cripple and altogether physi- 
cally repulsive, and yet he may be one of 
the world's greatest philosophers or 


mathematicians. A man may be sexually 
impotent and absolutely useless for race 
purposes, yet may be one of the world's 
greatest singers or greatest discoverers. 

In short, the eugenic problem in the 
human is not, and never will be, as simple 
as it is in the animal and vegetable king- 
doms. If we want to strive after healthy, 
normal mediocrity, then the principles of 
animal eugenics become applicable to the 
human race. If, on the other hand, we 
want talent, if we want genius, if we want 
benefactors of the human race, then we 
must go very slow with our eugenic ap- 

Drug Addiction or Narcotism 

Addiction to drugs, whether it be 
opium, morphine, heroin or cocaine, is a 
strongly dysgenic factor. The addition 
to the drug is of itself not transmissible, 
but the weakened constitution or degen- 
eracy which is generally responsible for 


the development of the drug addiction is 

A few cases of drug addiction are ex- 
ternal; that is, the patient may have a 
good healthy constitution, no hereditary 
taint, and still because during some sick- 
ness he was given morphine a number of 
times he may have developed an addiction 
to the drug. But those cases are rare. 
And such cases, if they are cured and if 
the addiction is completely overcome, may 

But in most cases it isn't the drug ad- 
diction that causes the degeneracy; it is 
the degeneracy or the neuropathic or psy- 
chopathic constitution that causes the 
drug addiction. And such cases are bad 
matrimonial risks. 

And it is a very risky thing for a 
woman to marry an addict with the idea 
of reforming him. As I said about the 
alcoholic: Let him reform first, let him 
stay reformed for a few years, and then 
the risk is not so great. 

Chapter XXVI 


CONSANGUINITY means blood 
relationship, and consanguineous 
marriages are marriages between 
near blood relatives. The physician is fre- 
quently consulted as to the permissibility 
or danger of marriages between near rela- 
tions. The question generally concerns 
first cousins, second cousins, uncle and 
niece, and nephew and aunt. 

The popular idea is that consanguine- 
ous marriages are bad per se. The chil- 
dren of near relatives, such as first cou- 
sins, are apt to be defective, deaf and 
dumb, blind, or feebleminded, and what 
not. This popular idea, as so many popu- 
lar ideas are, is wrong. And still there 


is of course, as there always is, some foun- 
dation for it. The matter however is quite 

We know that many traits, good and 
bad, are transmitted by heredity. And 
naturally when traits are possessed by 
both father and mother they stand a much 
greater chance of being transmitted to the 
offspring than if possessed by one of the 
parents alone. Now then, if a certain bad 
trait, such as epilepsy or insanity, is pres- 
ent in a family that trait is present in both 
cousins, and the likelihood of children 
from such a marriage inheriting that trait 
is much greater than when the parents 
are strangers, the taint being present in 
the family of only one of the parents. 
But if there be no hereditary taint in the 
cousins' family, and, still more, if the fam- 
ily is an intelligent one, if there are 
geniuses in the family, then there cannot 
be the slightest objection to marriage be- 
tween cousins, and the children of such 
marriage are apt to inherit in a strong de- 


gree the talents or genius of their an- 
cestors. In short, if the family is a bad 
one, one below par, then marriage between 
cousins or between uncle and niece should 
be forbidden. If the family is a good 
one, above par, then marriage between 
relatives of that family should be encour- 

The idea that the children from con- 
sanguineous marriages are apt to be deaf 
and dumb has no foundation in fact. Re- 
cent statistics from various asylums in 
Germany, for instance, have shown that 
only about five per cent, of the deaf and 
dumb children were the offspring of con- 
sanguineous marriages. If 95 per cent, 
of the deaf and dumb had wow-consan- 
guineous parents, how could one say that 
even in the other five per cent, the con- 
sanguinity was the cause? If it were the 
other way around, then of course we could 
blame consanguinity. As it is, we can 
assume even in this five per cent, a mere 
coincidence, and we have no right to say 


that consanguinity and deaf- and dumb- 
ness stand in the relation to each other of 
cause and effect. 

It is interesting to know that among 
the Egyptians, Persians, and Incas of 
Peru close consanguineous marriages were 
very common. The Egyptian kings gen- 
erally married their sisters. This was 
common custom and if the children born 
of such unions were defectives or mon- 
strosities the fact would have become 
quickly apparent and the custom would 
have been abolished. Evidently the off- 
spring of very close consanguinity was 
normal, or even above normal, or the 
practice would not have been continued 
such a long time. 

It is perhaps worth while noting that 
one of the world's greatest scientists, 
Charles Darwin, was the child of parents 
who were first cousins. 


Chapter XXVII 


SEXUAL impotence is not heredi- 
tary, but impotence in the male 
either so complete that he can- 
not perform the act or consisting only 
in premature ejaculations (relative im- 
potence or sexual insufficiency) should 
constitute a bar to marriage. This im- 
potence may not interfere with impregna- 
tion; the wife may have children and the 
children will not be in any way defective, 
but the wife herself, unless she is com- 
pletely frigid, will suffer great tortures, 
and may quickly become a sexual neu- 
rasthenic, a nervous wreck, or she may 
develop a mental disorder. Any man suf- 
fering with impotence should have him- 
self treated before marriage until he is 


cured; if his impotence is incurable, then 
for his own sake and for the sake of the 
girl or woman he is supposed to love he 
should give up the idea of marriage. The 
only permissible exception is in cases in 
which the prospective wife knows the na- 
ture of her prospective husband's trouble, 
and claims that she does not care for gross 
sexual relations and therefore does not 
mind the impotence. In case the wife is 
absolutely frigid, the marriage may turn 
out satisfactory. But I would always have 
my misgivings, and should the wife's 
apparently absent but in reality only 
dormant libido suddenly awaken there 
would be trouble for both husband and 
wife. It is therefore necessary to em- 
phasize: in all cases of impotence — cau- 


Frigidity is a term applied to lack of 
sexual desire or sexual enjoyment in 
women. Of course many women before 


marriage are themselves ignorant of their 
sexual condition. Having learned to re- 
strain their impulses, to repress any sexual 
stir, they themselves are often unable to 
say whether they have a strong or weak 
libido, or any at all. And whether or no 
a given woman would derive any pleas- 
ure from the sexual act can only be found 
out after marriage. Many girls, however, 
know very well whether they are "pas- 
sionate" or not, but they will not tell, 
They are afraid to confess to a complete 
lack of passion — they fear they might lose 
a husband. 

Frigidity as a factor in marriage may 
be considered from two points of view : the 
offspring and the husband. The off- 
spring is not affected by the mother's 
frigidity. A very frigid woman, if the 
frigidity is not due to serious organic 
causes, may have very healthy children 
and make an excellent mother. As far as 
the husband is concerned, it will depend a 
good deal on the degree of frigidity. If 


the woman is merely cold, and, while her- 
self not enjoying the act, raises no objec- 
tion to it, then it cannot be considered a 
bar to marriage. In fact many men, 
themselves not overstrong sexually, are 
praying for somewhat frigid wives. But 
when the frigidity is of such a degree that 
it amounts to a strong physical aversion 
to the act, it should be considered a bar 
to marriage. 


Chapter XXVIII 

WE have seen that sexual impo- 
tence is a dysgenic factor and 
if complete and incurable 
should constitute a barrier to marriage. 
The opposite condition is that of exces- 
sive libido. Libido is the desire for 
the opposite sex. A proper amount of 
libido is normal and desirable. A lack 
of libido is abnormal. And an excess of 
libido is also abnormal. But a good many 
men are possessed of an excess of libido; 
it is either congenital or acquired. Some 
men torture their wives "to death," not 
literally but figuratively. Harboring the 
prevailing idea that a wife has no rights in 
this respect, that her body is not her own, 
that she must always hold herself ready 



to satisfy his abnormal desires, such a hus- 
band exercises his marital rights without 
consideration for the physical condition 
or the mental feelings of his partner. If 
the wife possesses only a moderate amount 
of sexuality and if she is too weak in body 
and in will-power to resist her lord and 
master's demands, her health is often 
ruined and she becomes a wreck. (Com- 
plete abstinence and excessive indulgence 
often have the same evil end-results.) If 
a delicate girl or a woman of moderate 
sexuality has reasons to suspect that a 
man is possessed of an abnormally exces- 
sive libido, she would do well to think 
twice before taking the often irretrievable 

Excessive Libido in Women 

Just as we have impotent and exces- 
sively libidinous men, so we have frigid 
and excessively libidinous women. A wife 
possessed of excessive libido is a terrible 
calamity for a husband of a normal «or 



moderate sexuality. Many a libidinous 
wife has driven her husband, especially if 
she is young and he is old, to a premature 
grave. And "grave" is used in the literal, 
not figurative, sense of the word. It 
would be a good thing if a man could find 
out the character of his future wife's libido 
before marriage. Unfortunately, it is im- 
possible. At best, it can only be guessed 
at. But a really excessive libido on the 
part of either husband or wife should con- 
stitute a valid ground for divorce. 


Chapter XXIX 

ALMOST a complete change has 
taken place in our ideas of crim- 
inality, and there are but very- 
few criminologists now who believe in 
the Lombrosian nonsense as to most 
criminality being inherited and being 
accompanied by physical signs of degen- 
eration. The idea that the criminal is 
born and not made is now held only by 
an insignificant number of thinkers. We 
know now that by far the greatest per- 
centage of crime is the result of environ- 
ment, of poverty, with all that that word 
implies, of bad bringing up, of bad com- 
panions. We know that the child of the 
criminal, properly brought up, will de- 
velop into a model citizen, and vice versa, 



the child of the saint, brought into the 
slums, might develop into a criminal. 

Then we must remember that there are 
many crimes which are not crimes, per se, 
but which are merely infractions of man- 
made laws, or representing rebellious acts 
against an unjust and cruel social order. 
Thus, for instance, a man or a woman 
who defying the law, would give informa- 
tion about birth control, and be convicted 
for the offence, would be legally a crim- 
inal. Morally he or she would be a high- 
minded humanitarian. 

The true eugenist will therefore pay 
little attention to criminality in the an- 
cestry as a dysgenic factor. As long as 
the matrimonial candidate himself is not 
a criminal, the ancestral criminality should 
constitute no bar to the marriage. It is 
not likely to show itself atavistically in the 
children. Altogether a good deal of non- 
sense has been written about atavism. 
And people forget that the same rules of 
heredity that are applied to physical con- 



ditions cannot be applied to spiritual and 
moral qualities, the latter being much more 
dependent upon environment than the 
former. Of course the various circum- 
stances must be taken into consideration, 
and each case must be decided upon its 
merits. No generalizations can be per- 
mitted. The kind of crime must always 
be considered. 

And, furthermore, it should be borne in 
mind that not only is a criminal ancestry 
per se no bar to marriage, the marriage 
candidate himself may be an ex-criminal, 
may have served time in prison, and still 
be a very desirable father or mother from 
the eugenic viewpoint. A man who in a 
fit of passion or during a quarrel, per- 
haps under the slight influence of liquor, 
struck or killed a man is not, therefore, a 
real criminal. After serving his time in 
prison he may never again commit the 
slightest anti-social act, may make a moral 
citizen and an ideal husband and father. 


Chapter XXX 

IT may seem strange to discuss pau- 
perism in relation to marriage and to 
speak of it as a hereditary factor, but 
it is necessary to discuss it, because con- 
siderable ignorance prevails on the sub- 
ject, it being generally confused with 
poverty. There is a radical difference 
between pauperism and poverty. People 
may be poor for generations and genera- 
tions, even very poor, and still not be con- 
sidered or classed with paupers. Pauper- 
ism generally implies a lack of physical 
and mental stamina, loss of self-respect 
and unconquerable laziness. Of course 
we know now that laziness often rests 
upon a physical basis, being due to im- 
perfect working of the internal glands. 



But whatever the cause of the laziness 
may be, the fact is that it is one of the 
characteristics of the pauper. And while 
we cannot speak of pauperism being 
hereditary, the qualities that go to make 
up the pauper are transmissible. No nor- 
mal woman would marry a pauper, and 
the woman who would marry a pauper is 
not amenable to any advice or to any 
book knowledge. But men are sometimes 
tempted to marry daughters of paupers 
if they happen to be pretty. They should 
consider the matter very carefully, for 
some of the ancestral traits may become 
manifest in the children. 


A Practical Treatise on the Causes, Symptoms, and 

Treatment of 
Sexual Impotence 

And Other Sexual Disorders in Men and Women 



Chief of the Department of Genito-Urinary Diseases and Dermatology, 

Bronx Hospital and Dispensary; Editor The American Journal 

of Urology, Venereal and Sexual Diseases; Editor and 

Founder of The Critic and Guide; Author of Sexual 

Problems of Today; Never Told Tales; 

Practical Eugenics, etc. 


Part I — Masturbation. Its Prevalence, Causes, Varieties, Symptoms, 
Results, Prophylaxis and Treatment. Coitus Interruptus and its 

Part II — Varieties, Causes and Treatment of Pollutions, Spermator- 
rhea, Prostatorrhea and Urethrorrhea. 

Part III — Sexual Impotence in the Male. Every phase of its widely 
varying causes and treatment, with illuminating case reports. 

Part IV — Sexual Neurasthenia. Causes, Treatment, case reports, 
and its relation to Impotence. 

Part V — Sterility, Male and Female. Its Causes and Treatment. 

Part VI — Sexual Disorders in Woman, Including Frigidity, Vaginis- 
mus, Adherent Clitoris, and Injuries to the Female in Coitus. 

Part VII — Priapism. Etiology, Case Reports and Treatment. 

Part VIII — Miscellaneous Topics. Including: Is Masturbation a 
Vice? — Two Kinds of Premature Ejaculation. — The Frequency of 
Coitus. — "Useless" Sexual Excitement. — The Relation Between Mental 
and Sexual Activity. — Big Families and Sexual Vigor. — Sexual Per- 

Part XX — Prescriptions and Minor Points. 

Third edition revised and enlarged. 
Cloth bound, 422 pages. Postpaid, $3.00. 



"He who throws light on the dark and intricate 
problems of sex, helping to unravel the mysteries of 
and to cure the complex sexual disorders, does indeed 
a signal service to humanity." 

We believe that in bringing out our latest work, 
Sexual Impotence and Other Sexual Disorders in 
Men and Women, we have given the profession one 
of the most useful, one of the most valuable books that 
have ever been published. A gratifyingly large num- 
ber of physicians have told us that the book not only 
helped them to treat successfully sexual weakness and 
other disorders in their patients or in themselves, but 
that it opened their eyes to the significance of many 
things which they did not understand before. 

Those who have read the book know its value and 
importance ; those who have not may be interested to 
read what the medical journals have to say about it. 
Here are a few extracts: 

No American authority has given more serious thought 
to the subject of sexual diseases than the author of this 
volume; he has given to us in it the best that in him lies. 
No physician who has had to combat this distressing condi- 
tion, and those conditions dependent upon it, has any doubt 
of its serious importance. And we all recognize the weak- 
ness of the literature on the subject. Dr. Robinson takes 


a sensible view of things which have not been sensibly con- 
sidered; nowhere has he shown this to better advantage 
than in this volume on a difficult subject. 

— Medical Fortnightly. 

Dr. Robinson discusses the numerous phases of this sub- 
ject, in both sexes, clearly and in detail. He tells no lies 
to conform to moral, social and religious ideals, and con- 
sequently those who differ with him in beliefs or in pre- 
tensions may censure him as immoral. In some of these 
points there is opportunity for difference of opinion, but 
on the whole we think that Dr. Robinson has expressed 
what the majority of physicians believe, tho not necessarily 
the opinion most frequently published. Pretty nearly 
every conceivable sexual abnormality, physical or psychic 
is at least alluded to. If we were to select any one feature 
of this work for special mention, it would be the uniform 
common sense of the author. — Buffalo Medical Journal. 

This book is not by any means a rehash of some other 
book or a resume of several. This treatise is interesting 
and valuable, and the author is absolutely honest and fear- 
less in his opinions. A unique and helpful feature is the 
case reports which illustrate every phase of sexual dis- 
order. — Indianapolis Medical Journal. 

Dr. Robinson deals with the subject in a dignified, scien- 
tific way, that will be helpful to the physician who has 
judgment enough to realize that he is as responsible for 
functions around which a modem, sham, conventional 
modesty has thrown a hiatus of folly as he is for the ap- 
petite, eliminative powers or nutritive functions of the same 
persons. And the science of eugenics can never be worthy 
of medical consideration until the people are taught that 
it is as much the duty and ousiness of physicians to in- 
quire about the sexual habits of patients as of their habits 
of eating and drinking. This book will do much good, and 
that good will be as extensive as its reading. 

— Texas State Journal of Medicine. 


In this book we have a complete treatise on sexual dis- 
orders and their treatment, with descriptions of actual 
individual ca°es, giving the individual symptomatology and 
individual treatment. When given in this manner the de- 
scription becomes indelibly impressed on the memory and 
enables a physician when he gets a case to understand and 
classify it without a great amount of difficulty. 

— Charlotte Medical Journal. 

The name of the author is ample assurance that this 
treatise is not a rehash nor lacking in honest opinions fear- 
lessly expressed. The style of the writer is notably per- 
sonal, clear, straightforward and conversational. The ex- 
haustion of the first edition in less than two months from 
the day of publication shows unmistakably the need of 
a book of this character. It also shows that the profession 
is at last becoming alive to its shortcomings in the matter 
of sexual disorders and is beginning to be willing to learn. 
— Southern California Practitioner. 

Perhaps no subject pertaining to human ills has been so 
neglected by medical teachers or medical text-books as 
the subject discussed in this volume. While legitimate 
medical literature was indiscreetly silent on sex teachings, 
the quack literature was teeming with misinformation, 
which, as the author intimates, did more real harm than 
did sexual ignorance or sex abuse. The doctor will find 
this work instructive. — Illinois Medical Journal. 

As is to be expected Robinson goes into the subject 
thoroly, and calls a spade a spade, with the result that he 
has evolved a volume full of meat and of great value to 
the physician, whose ingenuity is often taxed to the ut- 
most to discover the whys and wherefores at the bottom of 
impotence. The racy Robinsonesque style adds interest to 
the text matter of the volume. — Medical Times. 


Never-Told Tales 




Editor of the American Journal of Urology and of The Critic and Guide 

Every doctor, every young man and woman, every newly-married 
couple, every parent who has grown-up children, should read this 

Every one of the tales teaches a distinct lesson, a lesson of vital 
importance to the human race. 

, We knew that we were getting out a useful, a NECESSARY book, 
and we expected it would meet with a favorable reception, but we 
never expected the reception would be so extravagantly and so 
unanimously enthusiastic. There seems to have been a long-felt 
but dormant want for just such a book. One reader, who has a 
fortune running into the millions, writes: 

"I would have given a good part of my fortune if the knowledge 
I obtained from one of j our stories to-day had been imparted to 
me ten years ago." 

Another one writes: 

"I agree with you that your plain, unvarnished tales from real 
life should have been told long ago. But better late than never. 
Your name will be among the benefactors of the human race for 
having brought out so forcibly those important, life-saving truths. 
I know that I personally have already been benefited by them." 

Fine Cloth Binding. One Dollar per Copy 



A New Book by Dr. Robinson 

The Limitation of Offspring by 
the Prevention of Conception 



With an Introduction by 

Ex-President of The American Medical Association 

All the arguments for and against the voluntary 
limitation of offspring or birth control concentrated in 
one book of 250 pages. 

The Limitation of Offspring is now the burning 
question of the day. It has been made so by Dr. William 
J. Robinson, who was a pioneer in this country to demand 
that people be permitted to obtain the knowledge how to 
limit the number of their children, how to prevent con- 
ception when necessary. For many years he fought 
practically alone; his propaganda has made hundreds of 
thousands of converts — now the ground is prepared and 
the people are ready to listen. 

Written in plain popular language. A book which 
everybody interested in his own welfare and the welfare 
of the race should read. 


12 Mt. Morris Park W. New York Cit* 


A New Book by Dr. Robinson 

Sex Knowledge 

for Men. 



An honest, unbiased, truthful, strictly scientific and 
up-to-date book, dealing with the anatomy and physi- 
ology of the male sex organs, with the venereal diseases 
and their prevention, and the manifestations of the sex 
instinct in boys and men. 

Absolutely free from any cant, hypocrisy, falsehood, 
exaggeration, compromise, or any attempt to conciliate 
the stupid and ignorant. 

An elementary book written in plain, 
understandable language, which should 
be in the possession of every adolescent 
boy and every parent. 

Dr. Robinson believes that fear should have no place in our life, for 
morality based upon fear is not morality at all, only cowardice. He 
believes there is a better method, and that method he uses in his book. 

Price, cloth bound, $2.00. 




We believe it is the only book of its kind in the English language. 
It is the book you have been waiting for. 



Dr. Robinson's work deals with every phase of the 
sex question, both in its individual and its social as- 
pects. In this book the scientific knowledge of a 
physician, eminent as a specialist in everything per- 
taining to the physiological and medical side of these 
topics, is combined with the vigorous social views 
of a thinker who has radical ideas and is not afraid 
to give them outspoken expression. 

A few of the subjects which the author discusses 
in trenchant fashion are: 

The Relations Between the Sexes and Man's Inhumanity 
to Woman. — The Influence of Abstinence on Man's Sexual 
Health and Sexual Power. — The Double Standard of Morality 
and the Effect of Continence on Each Sex. — The Limitation of 
Offspring: the Most Important Immediate Step for the Better- 
ment of the Human Race, from an Economic and Eugenic 
Standpoint. — What To Do With the Prostitute and How To 
Abolish Venereal Disease. — The Question of Abortion Considered 
In Its Ethical and Social Aspects. — Torturing the Wife When 
the Husband Is At Fault. — Influence of the Prostate on Man's 
Mental Condition. — The Most Efficient Venereal Prophylactics, 
etc. etc. 

most of its readers information they never possessed 
before and ideas they never had before — or if th^y 
had, never heard them publicly expressed before. 

Cloth-bound, 320 Pages, $2 Postpaid 





Will monogamy or variety prevail 
in the future ? 

Is continence injurious ? 

Are extra - marital relations ever 
justifiable ? 

Should there be one moral stand- 
ard for men and women ? 

Will our present moral code persist? 

These and similar questions are here discussed 
by original and unbiased thinkers as well as by 
orthodox conservatives. No matter what your 
opinion on the subject may be, no matter whether 
your ideas on the relations of the sexes are those 
of the 1 5 th, 20th or 25 th century, you should 
read this book. Nobody who is earnestly inter- 
ested in the sex question has a right to have any 
opinion on it without having read this volume, the 

price of which, in cloth, is $ 1 , including postage. 

- - " " 



At last we have a clear, plain, concise book on the treat- 
ment of Gonorrhea and its various complications, written 
expressly for the general practitioner. 

No Physician who has occasion to treat Gonorrhea can do justice to his 
Patient without a study of this latest and clearest volume on the subject. 



And Its Complications in Men and Women. 

For the General Practitioner. 




An idea of the scope of this work may he gained from the Chapter Headings! 
i. Extent and Seriousness of Gonorrhea. 2. Classification of Urethra* 
Inflammations. 3. Gonorrheal Urethritis in the Male. 4. The Germ and the 
Diagnosis of Gonorrhea. 5. Course and Symptomatology of Acute Gonorrhea. 
6. Treatment of Acute Gonorrhea. 7. Case Reports. 8. Common Bacterial Ure- 
thritis. 9. Chancroidal Urethritis. 10. Syphilitic Urethritis. n. Chemical 
Urethritis. 12. Prophylactic Urethritis. 13. Traumatic Urethritis. 14. Toxic 
Urethritis. 15. Urethritis from Excess and Masturbation. 16. The Widely Vary- 
ing Conditions Known as Chronic Gonorrhea. 17. Treatment of Chronic Gonor- 
rhea. 18. Length of Time Required to Cure Chronic Gonorrheal Conditions. 19. 
Instruments Used in Treatment. 20. Abortive Treatment. 21. Prevention of 
Gonorrhea. 22. Minor Complications of Gonorrhea (Phimosis, Paraphimosis, 
Balanitis, Adenitis, Painful Erections and Chordee, Retention of Urine). 23. Acute 
Prostatitis. 24. Chronic Prostatitis. 25. Epididymitis. 26. Seminal Vesiculitis. 
27. Gonorrhea of the Rectum. 28. Gonorrhea of the Mouth. 29. Stricture. 
30. Gonorrheal Rheumatism. 31. Gonorrhea vs. Tobacco, Alcohol and Sexual 
Intercourse. 32. Gonorrhea in Women. 33. Vulvovaginitis in Little Girls. 34. 
Gonorrheal Ophthalmia. 35. Minor Points. Part II. — Materia Medica of Gonor- 
rheal and Non-Gonorrheal Urethritis and Their Complications. 36. Silver Salts 
— Inorpanic and Organic. 37. Miscellaneous Antiseptics and Astringents. 38. 
Vegetable Astringents. 39. Local Anesthetics. 40. Anti-Gonorrheal Remedies 
for Internal Use. 41. Urinary Antiseptics. 42. Lubricants. 43. Formulary. 

315 pages, cloth, $2.50 postpaid 





Dr. Robinsons Famous Little Montkly 

It is the most original journal in the country. It is the only 
one of its kind, and is interesting from cover to cover. There is no 
routine, dead matter in it. It is one of the very few journals 
that is opened with anticipation just as soon as it is received and 
of which every line is read with real interest. 

Not only are the special problems of the medical profession itself 
dealt with in a vigorous and progressive spirit, but the larger, social 
aspects of medicine and physiology are discussed in a fearless and 
radical manner. 

Many problems untouched by other publications, such as the sex 
question in all its varied phases, the economic causes of disease and 
other problems in medical sociology, are treated boldly and freely 
from the standpoint of modern science. In discussing questions 
which are considered taboo by the hyper-conservative, the editor 
says what he wants to say very plainly without regard for Mrs. 

The Critic and Guide was a pioneer in the propaganda for 
birth control, venereal prophylaxis, sex education of the young, and 
free discussion of sexual problems in general. It contains more 
interesting and outspoken matter on these subjects than any other 

While of great value to the practitioner for therapeutic sugges- 
tions of a practical, up-to-date and definite character, its editorials 
and special articles are what make The Critic and Guide unique 
among journals, read eagerly alike by the medical profession and 
the intelligent laity.